Wu Xiaohui Resigns as Anbang Insurance Chairman
Wu Xiaohui, one of China’s best known billionaires, is resigning as chairman of Anbang Insurance.
Anbang gave few details but said he was no longer able to fulfill his duties for “personal reasons”.
A Chinese magazine had reported that Wu Xiaohui was detained by authorities last week, but later deleted its article.
Anbang is known for a number of high profile international acquisitions, like the purchase of New York’s Waldorf Astoria in 2015.
The company, which manages some 1.65 trillion yuan ($242 billion) worth of assets, said in a statement that the chairman’s duties would be managed by other senior executives.
Anbang did not comment on the report by the independent Caijing magazine that Wu Xiaohui had been detained.
According to local reports, Wu Xiaohui had been taken away from the Anbang Office Building on June 8 by two police cars.
It is not clear where Wu Xiaohui is now and whether he had been taken to the police or directly to the prosecution on that day.
Earlier, Anbang had denied a report by the Financial Times that Wu Xiaohui had been stopped from travelling abroad.
Anbang had recently been in talks with a real estate company part-owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner.
The two sides were reportedly negotiating a deal to redevelop one of Kushner Companies’ Manhattan buildings.
The possible deal had raised media speculation over a potential conflict of interest and was called off in “mutual agreement” without any reasons given.
Wu Xiaohui had long been considered one of the most politically connected men in China, having married the grand-daughter of former leader, Deng Xiaoping.
His company has over the past years been among the biggest players of Chinese companies pursuing high-profile overseas acquisitions and investments.
In 2016, Anbang paid private equity company Blackstone $6.5 billion for the ownership of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a portfolio of up market hotels and resorts.
That purchase added 16 luxury properties across the US to Anbang’s holdings, including the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, and the Four Seasons hotels in Silicon Valley and Washington.