Steel tycoon blocked from traveling overseas

Li Zhaohui, once China's youngest billionaire, has been restricted from traveling abroad following his involvement in a 216 million yuan (US$32.7 million) financial dispute. 

Li Zhaohui, once China's youngest billionaire, has been restricted from traveling abroad following his involvement in a 216 million yuan (US$32.7 million) financial dispute. 

He became the chairman of Shanxi Haixin Iron and Steel Group, based in Shanxi Province, after his father Li Haicang, the group’s founder, was shot dead in 2003 when Li was 22 years old. 

According to Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court, Li was entangled in the dispute because of his sister Li Zhaoxia, an executive of Shanghai-based Haiboxinhui, a former affiliate of Haixin.

On January 10, 2013, Everbright Bank’s branch in Waigaoqiao free trade zone signed a one-year deal to offer Haiboxinhui a credit limit of 520 million yuan. Li, Meijing Group and two Shanxi-based firms were guarantors for the deal.

But soon Haiboxinhui fell into financial crisis. In February 2014, the bank filed a lawsuit for the return of its money. In seven months, Meijing helped to clear  debts of more than 216 million yuan. 

Later, two Shanxi firms paid their debts to Meijing, but Haiboxinhui and Li remained silent even after the court intervened. So Haiboxinhui and Li were blacklisted by Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court as discredited debtors. Li and Zhang Yamin, legal representative of Haiboxinhui, were restricted from traveling abroad from Tuesday.

In 2007, Li, who became the youngest billionaire in Shanxi, as known for his knowledge of the capital market. In 2010, he married Chinese actress Che Xiao, which made him famous. After a two-year marriage, they split up.

In 2014, Haixin, then Shanxi’s largest private iron and steel enterprise with annual steel output of 5 million tons, filed for bankruptcy because of industry overcapacity, a stagnant market, tightened credit and management issues. Later, Jianlong Heavy Industry Group took over Haixin after paying not less than 3.7 billion yuan to settle its debts.

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