Huang Guangyu, the richest man on the Chinese mainland, is under investigation for involvement in "economic crimes," Beijing police confirmed Thursday.
The personal wealth of appliance tycoon Huang, 39, was estimated at 43 billion yuan by the 2008 Hurun Rich list released in early October.
Huang's appliance chain of Gome has 1,300 outlets in more than 300 Chinese cities with 300,000 employees. Huang is also a real estate investor.
Shares in his company, the Hong Kong-listed Gome Electrical Appliances Holdings Ltd., were suspended on Monday ahead of the scheduled release of third-quarter results.
In its third-quarter results, released on Monday, the company said net profits rose 111 percent year-on-year in the first nine months to 1.59 billion yuan (about 227 million U.S. dollars).
Gross profit increased 28 percent to 3.57 billion yuan while operating revenue hit 36.4 billion yuan, up 20 percent, the company said.
Sources close to the company said that emergency plan was drafted to cope with the scandal, with their main aim to ensure stable operation, to be low profile in the public while inspiring its workers inside.
Chen Xiao, CEO of Gome, said it was Huang's personal affair with nothing to do with the company. Huang had handed over the business to Chen and his team, the CEO noted.
To ensure a sales promotion on Gome's 22nd anniversary in December, the company has asked support from nearly 100 domestic and foreign suppliers. Some major suppliers, like Japanese brand Sharp and Shandong-based Haier, have offered support.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2008)