Chinese tycoon Ren Zhiqiang goes missing after criticising Beijing’s response to coronavirus outbreak

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Source : SCMP

Friends of Ren Zhiqiang, the Chinese former property tycoon and outspoken critic of the Communist Party, are concerned about his whereabouts after losing contact with him for several days.The 69-year-old has been out of touch for several days since an article he wrote criticising the way in which Chinese authorities responded to the coronavirus outbreak was widely circulated online, they said.

“I haven’t been able to reach Ren Zhiqiang since Thursday night … it’s been over 72 hours already,” Wang Ying, an entrepreneur and friend, said.

“The disappearance of Ren as a public figure is known to many. Organisations responsible should say what happened as soon as possible,” she said.

It is not known if Ren’s disappearance is linked to the strongly worded article, which was critical not only of the initial cover-up of the virus outbreak, but also of the way in which Beijing is now seeking to promote its success in handling it and the growth of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s personal power.

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