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Why did China's richest man take his life?
The business world was shocked on September 6th when it learned of the sudden death of Qiao Jinling, the richest man in Henan Province, also listed as one of the richest businesspeople in China. Although the official cause of death has not been released, an official revealed to the media that Qiao Jinling died of suicide probably brought on by massive debts with his business partner.
Qiao Jinling was listed as 58th richest person in China by Forbes last year with a wealth of 120 million dollars and was known as the richest man in Henan. Moreover, he was also a deputy to the 10th National People's Congress of China, Vice Chairman of Henan Province Business Association and the Vice Director of Chang’ge City People Congress. The combination of his wealth and political power raises questions about his death.
A Chang’ge City official told a reporter that the real reason of Qiao’s suicide was a debt dispute. A partner in the 80's who later left Qiao’s Huanghe Enterprise Group registered his own company in Zhengzhou city in 1986 in the name of four people including Qiao Jinling. He borrowed a 100 million yuan loan in Liaoning Province to invest in real estate in Hainan Province but eventually lost all the money and was unable to pay it back.
Liaoning court’s ruled the company to pay the debt. However, three of the four creditors have bankrupted. Only Qiao Jinling, the owner of Huanghe Enterprise Group, has millions of dollars in assets, so the court ruled Qiao Jinling to pay the debt.
The official said that he felt that Qiao was an honest man who had been unfairly treated. Qiao had no idea of the joint loan and felt much aggrieved but had no one to turn to and therefore committed suicide. Qiao Jinling was a famous entrepreneur and the biggest taxpayer. After he started his business, he has paid over 600 million Yuan in taxes over 10 years. And he was very enthusiastic about public welfare, said the official.
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