Sep 05, 2013 12:00 AM

Sichuan Businessman Falls Under Eye of Probe

(Beijing) – A Sichuan businessman who built an investment conglomerate in the hydropower, infrastructure and entertainment sectors was detained in Beijing on August 1, Caixin learned from various sources.

The accusations that Wu faces in the investigation remain unclear.

Wu Bing, chairman of Zhongxu (Hong Kong) Limited and deputy chairman of the Hong Kong-based World Chinese Merchants Union Association (CMUA), was taken away from Beijing West Railway Station on late August 1 and could not be reached contact since then, sources said.

The 50-year-old Wu is a Sichuan native, and he controls Zhongxu Investment Co. Ltd which was established in 2001 with 100 million yuan in registered capital.

Public records show that Zhongxu has invested in various property and hydropower station projects in Sichuan, including the Daduhe Longtoushi hydropower plant and Geshizha hydropower plant.

The Daduhe project, in which Zhongxu holds 58 percent stake, was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2006. Power generation at the plant began in 2008. The annual power generation of the project averages at 3.1 billion kilowatt hours, which produces an estimated 900 million yuan in annual revenue based on current power tariffs in Sichuan.

The smaller Geshizha hydropower station was 85 percent owned by China Guodian Corp., one of the country's five largest power generators, according to a Guodian statement published in May 2010.

Zhongxu also invested in a highway linking Chengdu and Qionglai in Sichuan. Zhongxu held 51 percent of the project, but later sold the stake to Chengdu Communications Investment Group at 280 million yuan.

Zhongxu is solely owned by Zhongxu Shengshi Fenghua Investment Co., a Beijing-based company which is also believed to be controlled by Wu. The company has engaged in investment in the film and theater industry.

Wu's last public appearance was at a May 22 charity activity in Chengdu, when he donated HK$ 10 million to the city of Ya'an, following a heavy earthquake in April.

However, Caixin found that Wu's information has been deleted on the website of the CMUA. On August 15, the association's secretary general Liu Yongbi told Caixin that Wu is no longer a member of the association.

Sources familiar with Wu said he had used various names including Li Ruochen and Wu Yongfu.

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