Guo Wengui (Chinese: 郭文贵; born February 2, 1967), also known under the names Guo Haoyun (郭浩云) and Miles Kwok, is a Chinese businessman, who controls Beijing Zenith Holdings, and other assets. At the peak of his career, he was 73rd among the richest in China.

Guo, long prominent in real estate development and investment circles, came to fame in 2015 after a lengthy investigative report by Caixin media, controlled by Hu Shuli, was released, detailing Guo’s political connections, business dealings, and hard-ball tactics against former rivals. The piece became one of the most read investigative articles in the history of modern Chinese journalism.

He was born in Shen County, Shandong province, the seventh of eight children. He began his business career in Zhengzhou, before moving to Beijing to secure various construction deals during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Guo is believed to be residing overseas. However, many officials with whom he was said to have ties have fallen under the dragnet of the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping, including Ma Jian, the former deputy director of Chinese National Security Bureau, and Zhang Yue, the former Political and Legal Affairs Secretary of Hebei.

According to a Bloomberg report, Kwok (Guo) is famous for building a dragon-shaped, self-designated seven-star hotel overlooking Beijing’s iconic Bird Nest Stadium. The Hurun Report estimated his wealth at $2.6 billion, making him 74th-richest in China.

The dispute provides a possible window into how high-level political patronage in China, long helpful for doing business, can risk turning into liability.

Zenith has asserted that Founder is tied to retired President Hu Jintao’s former aide Ling Jihua, who, according to the official Xinhua news agency, is being investigated for corruption. Chinese-language media outside China link Zenith to Ma Jian, one of the country’s top spy masters that the Communist Party said is being probed for “serious law and discipline violations.”

Ma couldn’t be reached for comment, and a fax sent to the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, which said it’s investigating him, didn’t receive a reply. Ling Jihua also couldn’t be reached, and a fax sent to the United Front Work Department, where Ling was minister before his removal, wasn’t answered. Chen Xu, a Founder spokesman, said he was “not clear” about his company’s alleged political connections.

Many officials with whom he was said to have ties have fallen under the dragnet of the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping, including Ma Jian, the former deputy director of Chinese National Security Bureau, and Zhang Yue, the former Political and Legal Affairs Secretary of Hebei. While generally supportive of General Secretary Xi Jinping, Guo has characterized parts of the corruption campaign as a political witch hunt.

Guo is a member of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and Mark’s Club in Mayfair, London.

New York Times Report:

Greater corruption in China? Billionaire says he has evidence.

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