From TRD New York: Anbang Insurance Group dismissed social media reports that its chairman, Wu Xiaohui, had been detained by authorities in Beijing, saying there was no truth to the chatter whatsoever.
“There is no validity to the unfounded rumors that any Anbang executives, including Chairman Wu, have been detained by authorities,” a spokesperson said in a statement issued late Wednesday night. “There has been no interruption to Anbang’s business activities, both foreign and domestic, which continue as usual.”
Chinese social media platform WeChat erupted early Wednesday with rumors that authorities were investigating Wu and had also halted all of the insurance giant’s overseas investment.
According to the media reports, the investigation into Wu is connected to a $14.5 billion loan the Anbang chairman allegedly obtained illegally from Minsheng Bank. Wu used the illegal loan to invest in the stock market, the reports say. He may also have partly funded Anbang’s acquisitions with the loan, according to the reports.
Authorities have been looking into Anbang’s activities over the past few months, sources said, and two weeks ago, China’s corruption watchdog questioned its top insurance regulator, Xiang Junbo, over suspicion of “severe disciplinary violations,” according to the Financial Times.
On Thursday, state-operated newspaper New Beijing Daily published an interview with Wu, according to a report on China Money Network. The interview, which ran with an accompanying photo, was conducted at Anbang’s offices in Beijing, according to CMN.