Shanghai court sentences Chinese-Canadian businessman to 13 years in prison for fraud

A Shanghai court announced on Friday that it had sentenced Xiao Jianhua, a Chinese-Canadian tycoon who disappeared from a Hong Kong hotel in 2017, to 13 years in prison for financial crimes.

It was Xiao who arrested one of the richest people in China, whose fortune is estimated at six billion dollars.

Shanghai No. 1 Court, where he stood trial, said Xiao Ding was specifically charged with “embezzlement of public funds” and “illegal use of funds”.

His disappearance in 2017 shocked Hong Kong.

He is known to have been close to senior Chinese Communist leaders and was reportedly kidnapped by Beijing agents.

Since then, little information has leaked about the case, and Chinese authorities have remained silent about it.

The investigation into Xiao Jianhua appears to be part of a broader anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2012.

Xiao’s alleged abduction in Hong Kong came at a time when mainland Chinese agents were not allowed to travel to the semi-autonomous city.

At the time, some feared the city’s residents could be forcibly moved to neighboring mainland China, where the justice system is largely under the control of the ruling Communist Party.

These fears were one of the drivers of the pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019.

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