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Missing Chinese billionaire banker Bao Fan helps authorities with investigation, firm says | China

Chinese billionaire tech banker Bao Fan, who went missing 10 days ago, is cooperating with Chinese authorities to conduct an investigation, a China-based boutique bank has said.

It is the first time that China Renaissance Holdings has given a reason for the disappearance of its founder and chairman, although no details of the investigation have been shared.

“The board wishes to reaffirm that the business and operations of the group are continuing as normal,” the bank said in the exchange filing on Sunday.

Reuters previously reported, citing sources, that authorities took Bao away earlier this month to help investigate a former colleague, Cong Lin, the company’s former chairman.

The company’s shares slumped last week after it said in an exchange filing that the company had been unable to contact Bao.

Bao is a major figure in China’s tech industry and has played a key role in the emergence of a series of major domestic internet startups.

The disappearance of the star negotiator is the latest in a series of cases of senior Chinese leaders missing with little explanation during a sweeping anti-corruption campaign led by President Xi Jinping.

In 2015 alone, at least five executives became unreachable without notice to their companies, including Fosun Group Chairman Guo Guangchang, who Fosun said later took part in investigations regarding a personal matter.

Bao’s disappearance also comes against the backdrop of more than two years of sweeping regulatory crackdowns on tech companies.

Bao, also a majority shareholder of China Renaissance, established the company in 2005 as a two-person team, seeking to connect capital-hungry startups with venture capitalists and private equity investors.

The business then expanded into services, including underwriting, sales and trading.

Known for being well-connected in the corporate world, Bao has been involved in technology mergers, including bringing together ride-hailing companies Didi and Kuaidi, food delivery giants Meituan and Dianping, and travel platforms Ctrip and Qunar.

theguardian Gt

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