Missing Chinese CEO Bao Fan is cooperating in an investigation by “certain authorities in the People’s Republic of China,” his company said in a statement Sunday.
China Renaissance Holdings Limited, of which Bao is the chairman and CEO, said the company has been trying to locate him and ascertain his status since the announcement he disappeared on February 16.
“The Board would like to reiterate that the business and operations of the Group are continuing normally,” a statement from the company said. “The Company will duly cooperate and assist with any lawful request from the relevant PRC authorities, if and when made.”
Bao is not the first business executive to go missing, in a country where they can suddenly and mysteriously disappear. Real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang disappeared for several months after he allegedly spoke out against Chinese leader Xi Jinping in 2020. He was then jailed for 18 years. Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui was reportedly detained by authorities as part of a government investigation. He too was eventually jailed for 18 years.
The company, an investment bank and private equity firm based in Beijing, added it is monitoring the situation and will release further statements “when appropriate.”
Bao is known as a veteran deal maker in China’s tech industry. He helped broker the 2015 merger between two of the country’s leading food delivery services, Meituan and Dianping. Today, the combined company’s “super app” platform is ubiquitous in China.
Bao started his investment banking career in the late 1990s at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse and later went on to serve as an adviser to the stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
His team has also invested in US-listed Chinese electric vehicle makers Nio
(NIO) and Li Auto, and helped Chinese internet giants Baidu
(BIDU) and JD.com
(JD) complete their secondary listings in Hong Kong.