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Home / Home / The billionaire gadfly in exile who stared down Beijing

The billionaire gadfly in exile who stared down Beijing

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Away from his homeland, Mr. Guo nonetheless enjoys the excessive life. On Twitter, the place his profile web page portrays him as a male model of the Mockingjay from the “Starvation Video games” collection, he confirmed off his new non-public Airbus jet. When giving a tour of his 18th-floor New York residence — shared with a bichon frisé pet — he identified the Lalique crystal chandelier, Louis XVI furnishings and an historical Chinese language watercolor portray. The month-to-month upkeep charges alone for the residence are $58,000.Mr. Guo boasts of a number of residences all over the world, together with in Beijing, London, Tokyo, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. His oceanside residence there, with sweeping views of Repulse Bay, sits on two tons that Mr. Guo’s son purchased for 880 million Hong Kong ($113 million) in 2011, in line with property information.

His lakeside property in Beijing is modeled on a conventional one-story courtyard residence however is way extra elaborate, with a number of ranges, a cavernous closet with lots of of equivalent fits, and a pool, in a fancy of greater than 86,000 sq. toes. One actual property agent in Beijing estimated its worth at about $230 million.

Mr. Guo took Mr. Kirby, then a Harvard dean, on a two-hour tour of the property in 2004. The group was ushered into a non-public theater, the lights dimmed, and Johann Strauss Sr.’s “Radetzky March” started to play as Mr. Guo made a videotaped introduction to a improvement he deliberate close to the positioning of the 2008 Olympic Video games in Beijing. He and a Beijing vice mayor then requested Harvard to find a campus on the complicated, Mr. Kirby recalled.

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At dinner, he pressed his case, all of the whereas watching a Chinese language cleaning soap opera on a tiny tv display screen. “It was, nonetheless to at the present time, essentially the most weird night I’ve ever spent in China,” Mr. Kirby mentioned. (Harvard didn’t take Mr. Guo up on his supply.)

Mr. Guo says the motivation for his corruption allegations is straightforward: He claims the state shot certainly one of his brothers in 1989 and he has been plotting his revenge ever since. The circumstances of the loss of life are murky, although, like a lot of Mr. Guo’s story.



Mr. Guo says that through the 1989 Tiananmen scholar protests, he was arrested for giving cash to the scholar motion and jailed for 2 years. However an abroad Chinese language web site, citing courtroom paperwork, says that Mr. Guo had been arrested in a fraud involving oil gross sales and that his brother was killed when he and Mr. Guo attacked cops.

He says he was born in Might 1970, certainly one of 10 boys in a household with ties to the Chinese language Military from a small city in jap China’s Shandong Province. (Authorized paperwork say he was born in February 1967.) In jail, Mr. Guo, who has solely a middle-school schooling, discovered about Chinese language historical past and different subjects from educated inmates, he mentioned.

After his launch in 1991, Mr. Guo met a outstanding businesswoman who launched him to rich buyers. Quickly after he constructed a resort within the central Chinese language metropolis of Zhengzhou, which turned a gathering spot for presidency officers.

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These contacts and relationships with different officers, together with Mr. Ma, the spy chief, helped Mr. Guo construct his empire. He expanded into finance, buying a big stake in a securities brokerage agency. In 2014, the Hurun Report, which tracks the fortunes of China’s elite, estimated his wealth at $2.three billion. However that very same 12 months, Mr. Guo’s ambition to take management of certainly one of China’s greatest brokerage corporations fell aside and he had a dispute along with his enterprise companion, who was later jailed.

Since then, he has lived overseas and his belongings in China — he claims 120 billion renminbi ($17.four billion) in all — have been frozen. Mr. Guo is going through monetary pressures.

One hedge fund in Hong Kong, the Pacific Alliance Asia Alternative Fund, not too long ago sued him in New York, saying that he owes $88 million, a sum that features hundreds of thousands of in curiosity in loans from 2008. The fund needs to grab his New York residence.

Final 12 months, he sued the Swiss financial institution UBS, arguing that he was misled in a collection of transactions that resulted in a $500 million loss for him, however the go well with was dismissed. Caixin revealed an article final week saying that Mr. Blair had launched Mr. Guo to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince. Mr. Guo later used cash from Abu Dhabi to finance a failed takeover of a Chinese language securities agency, which resulted within the loss, Caixin reported.

A consultant for Mr. Blair didn’t handle whether or not Mr. Blair had made introductions for Mr. Guo. Mr. Guo mentioned the article was groundless.

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One declare Mr. Guo made in March relating to the hidden wealth of a outstanding Chinese language household could possibly be substantiated by firm paperwork, The Occasions reported in April. Going after Mr. Wang, although, is especially dangerous.

Mr. Wang, 68, has a fame for being an issue solver who has labored intently with American executives, together with Henry M. Paulson, the previous chief govt of Goldman Sachs and Treasury secretary. His many protégés are in influential positions all through China’s authorities.

Mr. Wang didn’t reply to faxed questions despatched to the Central Fee for Self-discipline Inspection in Beijing.

“Wang Qishan has been the mannequin of unpolluted and competent, and all however untouchable,” mentioned William Zarit, the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. “Ought to his star fall, enterprise and authorities gamers ought to be involved about their very own security.”

There is not any signal that Mr. Guo is letting up. Earlier than the Communist Social gathering meets this fall to select a slate of high leaders, Mr. Guo plans his most dramatic assault of all: a dwell occasion, maybe from Lincoln Heart, that may concentrate on Chinese language corruption.

“I need it to be carnival-style with a giant display screen,” he mentioned. “We’ll sing. We’ll cry and we are going to discuss concerning the world.”

Christopher Buckley and David Barboza contributed reporting. Kiki Zhao contributed analysis.

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