Chinese business leaders continue to disappear

The founder of Metersbonwe, a leading Chinese fashion company, becomes the latest high-profile executive to drop off of the radar

Zhou Chengjian, the founder of leading Chinese fashion company Metersbonwe, has gone missing 

Today the fashion label Metersbonwe informed investors and the press about the disappearance of the company’s founder, Zhou Chengjian. Metersbonwe also requested that the company’s shares be suspended from trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, in an attempt to protect investors’ interests.

Zhou is the latest in a string of high-profile disappearances across mainland China and Hong Kong, including that of Guo Guangchange, the chairman of conglomerate Fosun International, who was taken away by police at Shanghai Airport in mid-December. He eventually resurfaced a few days later.

The recent spate of arrests and missing people reports are a consequence of the ramping up of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign, which targets government and military figures, state-owned company officials and business leaders suspected of corruption.

China’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Chan Ka-keung, informed businesses that Hong Kong’s regulators have the power to come after firms that fail to disclose company information to them.

“Where the Securities and Futures Commission considers that there appears to be a delay in disclosing inside information, it will take appropriate action to promote compliance and enforce the relevant disclosure requirements, which may include making enquiries of the relevant listed corporation, issuing a guidance letter or, in very serious cases, taking enforcement action,” Chan explained in an interview with the South China Morning Post.

Many expected the anti-corruption campaign to slow down, but as a result of stock market crashes seen both last summer and at the start of 2016, local regulators have ramped up their efforts to crush incidents of insider trading.