Saturday, December 12, 2015

China's biggest business tycoon is missing?

Recent news about the disappearing act of Guo Guangchang, the Chairman of Fosun Group, one of China's most successful private-sector firms, have raised eye brows around the world. Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping has been relentless in its effort to crackdown corruptions that have plagued China's economic rise. Mr. Guo was a role model among China's many aspiring enterpreneurs. He started his company with just a few thousand of dollars and help from three fellow students of Fudan University in Shanghai. His success was likened to that of Warren Buffet in the US.  Social media was abuzz with news and reports that Mr. Guo was "whisked away" by police as he got off a plane in Shanghai, but it's also possible that he was taken for questioning about bigger fish in the corruption investigation of Shanghai's Communist Party leadership.

The 4th Amendment protect Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures, a right that Guangchang was not guaranteed to in China, exemplifying the differences in guaranteed rights by the laws of the nations of the US and China.

What do you think of the nature in which the Chinese government cracks down on corruption among its party ranks, among some of the most successful citizens of China?  Do you think these types of government"hunts" could happen in the US? How would you feel if some of the most successful business men such as Marc Zuckerberg of Facebook, were detained without public news and simply "disappears" because of potential links to illegal activities? What would be repercussions if the government simply seized people, without hard evidence? How would the public and the media react?


Steven Lee said...

Personally, I doubt that in a free country, such as the United States, business tycoons would be able to just disappear. With that being said, I find it frustrating that leaders within big businesses that commit crime are not being locked away. Everybody knows that during the Recession that Wall Street was committing fraud and blatantly getting away with it. What is even more embarrassing is that insurance companies, banks, etc were all bailed out with tax payer money. At the presence of corruption, whether it be in government or business, the government has an obligation to make sure that people come to justice. Perhaps we should not follow Mr. Jinping's crack down on corruption and lock people away (we already have a huge problem with that) but we should look at the Icelandic model. After the crash, Iceland put bankers who had a contributing hand into the '08 crash on trial and 26 actually got sent to jail. So the point being, when big businesses or people in government commit a crime, they deserve to be on trial and, if necessary, serve jail time.

Alton Olson said...

I think part of the crackdown is just to make the Chinese government appear to be enacting a strong anti-corruption policy. This would incentivize being able to make high-profile arrests by going after the extremely wealthy. I agree with Steven that in the U.S., people who have a lot of money and influence can get away with more than a regular citizen.

The U.S. government could not get away with detaining celebrity-level public figures. If the media and the public weren't already against such an action, the person being held would almost certainly use their influence to get out of their predicament. We have seen people disappear without any evidence in the U.S. before, like in Hamdi v. Rusmfeld - but these aren't high-profile celebrities that would be heavily covered by the media.