China's 2nd Richest Man Detained For Stock Manipulation

China’s wealthiest (or second wealthiest, depending on whom you believe, and we believe Forbes who said he’s second richest with $2.7 billion) man has reportedly been detained by the police on charges of stock manipulation. Could one of the country’s richest entrepreneurs have earned at least part of his fortune through corruption?

New York Times: Huang Guangyu, one of China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and the chairman of the country’s biggest electronics retailer, was detained last week by the police as part of an investigation into stock manipulation involving a relative’s company, according to a report in a Chinese financial magazine.

Shares in Gome Electrical Appliances, the company Mr. Huang controls, were halted before trading opened Monday on the Hong Kong stock exchange pending a company announcement.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Gome suggested that its chairman, Mr. Huang, could not be located. “Gome management is trying to verify whether our board chairman has been detained,” the company said in its release. “Up to now, we have not received any legal documents from any department about this information.”…

The case is the latest reminder that in China, a country where bribery and corruption are widespread, successful entrepreneurs can often come under government scrutiny after they reach the pinnacle of wealth. Several years ago, a handful of Chinese entrepreneurs at or near the top of Forbes wealthiest list were arrested and charged with fraud or corruption.

Time to start reworking that 2009 list!

Earlier this month, Forbes magazine listed Mr. Huang as China’s second-wealthiest individual, estimating his wealth at $2.7 billion. The Hurun Report, which also tracks wealthy individuals in China, said a few weeks earlier that he is the nation’s richest person, worth about $6.3 billion.

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