While Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is leaving the position this year, his time in office has been a personal success in at least one aspect: the fortunes of his extended family have risen to at least $2.7 billion.
Almost all of that money appears to have been made during his tenure, David Barboza of the New York Times reports.
Barboza also notes that Wen “has broad authority over the major industries where his relatives have made their fortunes”.
Here’s some of the assets he found:
The holdings include a villa development project in Beijing; a tire factory in northern China; a company that helped build some of Beijing’s Olympic stadiums, including the iconic “Bird’s Nest”; and Ping An Insurance, one of the world’s biggest financial services companies.
Following the scandal of Bo Xilai and the subsequent investigation of his own unusually large finances, there’s been a lot of scrutiny of official corruption in China. Foreign executives have long complained that hiring the relatives of Chinese “princelings” and officials on inflated salaries was part and parcel of doing business in China.
The New York Times may be expecting some consequences. When Bloomberg looked into the financial dealings of incoming President Xi Jinping (and found that, like Wen’s family, they appeared to be billionaires), Bloomberg.com was blocked in China.
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