Executives in Southern China Disappear With Company Cash

September 18, 2014 Updated: September 21, 2014

Fujian Province, a manufacturing powerhouse in southern China, has recently witnessed a spate of company executives going missing—often with the company money.

Five cases have emerged in less than three months, according to reports.

On Sept. 16, Clifford Chan, chief financial officer of the Frankfurt-listed Ultrasonic, said the whereabouts of chief executive officer Wu Qingyong and chief operating officer Wu Minghong were unknown.

“Most of the company’s cash funds at PRC and Hong Kong levels have been transferred, being no longer in the company’s range of influence,” Ultrasonic said in a statement.

Ultrasonic, a Chinese urban footmaker based in Quanzhou City, Fujian, had been praised as a “Famous Trademark of China” by the State Administration for Industry & Commerce; it gained similar honors for brand recognition by the local government in Fujian Province.

The company’s shares took a 72 percent dive to, 1.79 euros, after the announcement.

Its German holding company still has a “relevant six-figure amount” for obligations to creditors.

Another German-listed company in Quanzhou City, Youbisheng Green Paper, a clean-tech linerboard maker, did not know the whereabouts of its CEO Huang Haiming for weeks before naming his brother as successor, reported the German news website ad-hoc-news.de on Aug. 1.

On Aug. 7, the company said it planned to file for insolvency as the financial situation came into question, according to Reuters. It was unknown if Huang had absconded with the company’s money.

Nuoqi, a Hong Kong-listed fashion retailer, saw its chief executive and chairman Ding Hui go missing after he had transferred over 2 billion yuan (about $325 million) from the company’s bank account, according to the South China Morning Post on Aug. 2.

Suppliers of the company were owed about 500 million yuan ($81.4 million) as Ding also took out loans exceeding 1.5 billion yuan ($244 million) from local Chinese banks, reported Hong Kong newspaper The Standard.

The company has since declared bankruptcy and trading in the company’s stock was suspended.

Eratat Lifestyle, a shoemaker company listed in Singapore, stopped production for months after CEO Lin Jiancheng went missing, reported ifeng.com on Aug. 8.

Mr. Liu, a company employee said “Before the Chinese Lunar New Year, I had begged the boss for payment. I was only paid 10,000 yuan… I am still owned 60,000,” the report said.

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