One of China's most aggressive buyers of overseas assets, Anbang Insurance Group, says its chairman is temporarily unable to fulfill his duties, just over a week after denying reports he had been barred from leaving the country. Samantha Vadas reports.
The whereabouts of a high-profile Chinese businessman fueling speculation on Wednesday (June 14) after Anbang Insurance Group said its chairman Wu Xiaohui was no longer able to fulfill his duties. It comes just a week after reports suggested Wu had been barred from leaving the country, although the company's vague message says he's stepped aside for personal reasons. Hours earlier, Chinese magazine Caijing published a story saying Wu had been take away for investigation, but that story was removed shortly after it was posted online. Wu is politically connected in China, has ties on Wall Street and has been linked to a property deal involving Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner. His company only opened its doors in 2004, but manages almost 250 billion dollars worth of assets and has become known for its aggressive overseas buying sprees, which include New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel. But it hasn't all been smooth sailing - Anbang has recently failed to close on a handful of investments and is facing criticism over its opaque structure. Speculation over Wu's well-being comes as Chinese business circles are already on edge, after the mysterious disappearance of a China-born billionaire earlier this year. Calls to Wu's personal phone have gone unanswered.