Chinese police: Five arrested over Midea founder home invasion
Police said on Monday that the billionaire founder of house-appliance-manufacturing heavyweight Midea Group He Xiangjian was rescued safely after a house break-in the night before.
Foshan City’s police in Guangdong Province said that they received a call at 5:30pm on Sunday that claimed a private home in Junlan International Golf Life Village had been broken into and the owners’ lives were in danger.
By 5am on Monday, five arrests were made. The police emphasized that no one was injured and He is safe.
And the case is under investigation.
The village is a high-end villa residential neighborhood developed by Midea Real Estate Group in 2005.
He’s residence is a riverside villa facing south, whose back door overlooks the headquarters of the home-appliance manufacturer a few kilometers away.
Some online bloggers claimed that He’s son called the police after managing to free himself from suspects by jumping into the river.
On Monday morning, security forces from the village were on high alert and reporters saw at least six people guarding He’s villa.
The company’s stock fell 1.6 percent at the start of Monday’s trading and about seven billion yuan (US$986 million) was wiped out from its market value.
On the same day, Midea Group expressed thanks to the police and the public for their concern over the situation on social platform Weibo.
He Xiangjian was born in 1942 and is now 78 years old. He stepped down as chairman of Midea in 2012, replaced by professional manager Fang Hongbo.
A year later, he made it onto the Forbes list of China’s 10 wealthiest people.
He still controls the company by holding a 31.6 percent stake in Midea Group through Midea Holdings.
The 2020 Hurun Global Rich List ranked him as the world’s 41st richest person with an estimated total wealth of as much as 182 billion yuan.
Since August 2012, He has continuously served as an independent director of Midea Group.
In 2019, the company reported an operating income of 278.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year gain of 7.14 percent, with net profit surging 19.68 percent to reach 24.2 billion yuan.