Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Wild West of Wenzhou (Update)

Update: They have arrested this guy
Lin and his six partners were captured in Zhuhai, a city in southern Guangdong Province, on June 9, more than two weeks after he disappeared.
Since he is not a cause celeb, I doubt there will be a stay of execution this time.

Back in March there was this amusing story:

Wenzhou businessman's bank acquisition a fraud
Lin Chunping, a member of the Wenzhou Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made headlines last month when he said in a report that he successfully acquired a failing U.S. bank in Delaware.

Lin did not provide the name of the bank in the initial report. After rising to fame for having supposedly broken ground in becoming the first Chinese national to own an American bank, he was asked to provide details about the acquisition.

"Under the pressure of the public opinion, I have to release the name of the U.S. bank that I negotiated with: Atlantic Banking Corporation. I could be fined of a large amount of money due to the leaking of secret," Lin wrote on his micro-blog.
Wait, what? He then said that he had changed the name of the bank to USA New HSBC Federation Consortium Inc. I love that name. It's such a beautiful intersection of bluster, pretentious false legitimacy, and copyright ripoff all rolled into one.

Short version of the story, someone actually goes and checks the records, conveniently online and realizes he's making all this up. This brings up questions as to the mentality here. Does he not realize records are public? Does he expect his bluster will keep anyone from checking?

Well, Mr. Lin is back in the news and has disappeared.

Wenzhou investor wanted by police in possible tax scam
"Police have confirmed that Lin has fled the city," said Zhang Xunting, deputy director of the information office of the city government of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province. Local police believe the 42-year-old Lin was involved in requesting several companies under his control to illegally issue value-added tax invoices to cheat tax authorities of export tariff rebates, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Lin's case may deal a new blow to Wenzhou's small businesses, which have already been trapped by the aftermath of the financial crisis and the meltdown of the city's once prevalent shadow lending.

"What Lin had done has brought down the reputation of businesspeople in the city," said Zhou Dewen, chairman of the Wenzhou Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development Association.
Giving business bluster a bad name.

No comments: