Economy

China Anbang Insurance chairman detained

China Anbang Insurance chairman detained

Anbang said in a statement on Wednesday that Wu is "temporarily unable to perform his duties for personal reasons", but the company did not mention his apparent detention.

Established just 13 years ago, Anbang has grown from a domestic seller of property insurance into a financial services powerhouse, making a name for itself overseas by buying New York's historic Waldorf Astoria hotel for a record $1.95 billion in 2014.

That move came amid a widespread regulatory crackdown on what was seen as excessive use of universal life products by some insurers, and as China's leadership moves to curb risk in the financial system.

Official heads have rolled too, including China's insurance regulator Xiang Junbo, who was sacked in April and faces an investigation.

The privately held company said the money was raised from shareholders.

Spokespeople for Anbang did not respond to phone calls or emails Tuesday evening.

The company denied accusations in April by another business news magazine, Caixin, that it improperly used payments by policyholders to increase its capital.

More recently, the company has suffered a series of setback including failing to complete several foreign takeovers, including the proposed purchase of USA -based Fidelity & Guaranty Life for $1.6 billion.

The magazine, citing unidentified sources, said Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui was detained last Friday.

Anbang also became embroiled in an unusually public war of words with a leading Chinese business magazine, Caixin, about the insurer's ownership structure.

Attempts by the Chinese insurer to invest in a real estate project affiliated with the family of U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law floundered earlier this year.

Earlier this year, the country's chief insurance regulator, who had overseen a doubling of the size of the industry in three years, was removed from his post after being placed under investigation.

White House special adviser Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, boasts an enormous portfolio of domestic and worldwide responsibilities despite having no experience in politics before the 2016 campaign. Talks ended in March.

Wu rarely talks to reporters or appears in public, but Caijing said he attended a series of public events in recent weeks.

Anbang has more than 30,000 employees serving 35 million clients and has interests in life insurance, banking, asset management, leasing and brokerage services.


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