HomeOppression and Human RightsVanishing Acts: The Mysterious Disappearance of Zhongzhi Executives in China

Vanishing Acts: The Mysterious Disappearance of Zhongzhi Executives in China

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In a previous article we mentioned disappearing executives in China and the terror it has been causing. Turns out this was prophetic.

The shadowy world of Chinese finance has witnessed the sudden and alarming disappearance of two executives linked to Zhongzhi, a beleaguered financial conglomerate in China. This incident comes in the wake of a criminal investigation launched by Chinese authorities into Zhongzhi, an entity deeply embroiled in the country’s financial tumult.

Dalian My Gym Education Technology, an education firm listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, has reported the inexplicable loss of contact with its chairwoman, 38-year-old Ma Hongying. Simultaneously, Xinjiang Tianshan Animal Husbandry Bio-engineering, a firm specializing in cattle and dairy cow breeding, has expressed similar concerns about its chairman, 59-year-old Ma Changshui. Both companies, under the control of Zhongzhi’s investment units, have been left in the dark about the whereabouts of their leaders.

Zhongzhi Enterprise Group, a part of China’s vast $3 trillion “shadow banking” industry, is reeling under severe financial strain. The conglomerate, which oversees numerous asset and wealth management firms, finds itself in a precarious position with liabilities skyrocketing to $64 billion, while its assets dwindle to less than half of that amount.

The disappearance of these two prominent figures has stoked fears of their possible detention by authorities, a suspicion not unfounded given China’s recent history of executives facing sudden arrests or going missing. The Beijing Public Security Bureau’s recent announcement of “mandatory measures” against individuals linked to Zhongzhi only adds to these apprehensions.

Ma Hongying and Ma Changshui, both integral to the Zhongzhi group for years, have now seemingly vanished into thin air. Ma Hongying, having served as Zhongzhi’s chief financial officer since 2015, and Ma Changshui, a former banker and the vice president of Zhongzhi, have been vital cogs in the conglomerate’s machinery. Their sudden absence raises serious questions about the internal turmoil within Zhongzhi and the wider implications for China’s financial sector.

The crisis at Zhongzhi is reflective of the larger issues plaguing China’s property sector, which has seen a series of defaults and liquidity crises, significantly impacting the economy. The fall of Evergrande, another real estate giant, had set off a domino effect, leading to the current state of instability in the market.

These disappearances are part of a worrying trend in China, where top executives from various sectors, including technology and real estate, have either gone missing or been detained in a sweeping crackdown. This year alone, over a dozen high-profile business leaders have faced similar fates, highlighting the increasing pressure and scrutiny from the Chinese government.

The case of Zhongzhi and its missing executives serves as a stark reminder of the volatile and often brutal nature of the Chinese Communist Party’s fascist and totalitarian hold over its corporate world. As the investigation into Zhongzhi unfolds, the international community watches with bated breath, seeking answers to the puzzling disappearance of Ma Hongying and Ma Changshui, and the broader implications for China’s financial stability and the fate of its corporate leaders.

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