The former head of China’s embattled insurance and financial giant Anbang has been jailed for 18 years for corruption and fraud, completing the downfall of the former car salesman who rose to the pinnacle of global high finance.
Wu Xiaohui admitted on state television in March to fraudulently raising billions of dollars from investors. He will also have 10.5bn yuan ($1.7bn; £1.2bn) confiscated from him.
Wu’s punishment is the most severe among a group of once high-flying Chinese tycoons who have had their wings clipped by a crackdown on outbound dealmaking and systemic risk. Other privately owned conglomerates, including Dalian Wanda, HNA and Fosun International, have all been forced to sell assets or scale back new foreign acquisitions but their owners have avoided prison.
Analysts viewed the crackdown in part as a move by President XiJinping to reassert control over privately owned groups whose pursuit of foreign trophy assets was seen as undermining China’s financial stability.
Mr Wu, who founded Anbang in 2004, had long been considered one of the most politically connected men in China, having married the granddaughter of former leader Deng Xiaoping.
Sources: BBC, FT, CCTV, CCILC