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Bao Fan: Missing China billionaire banker resigns from all roles

Chinese billionaire banker Bao Fan, who has been missing for almost a year, has resigned from all roles at his firm, China Renaissance Holdings.

He stepped down “for health reasons and to spend more time on his family affairs,” the bank said in a statement.

Mr Bao’s unexplained disappearance in February last year shocked China’s business and investing community.

Just days later, China Renaissance said he was cooperating with authorities who were conducting an investigation.

In its latest filing, the company said co-founder, Xie Yi Jing, will assume Mr Bao’s most senior roles.

Mr Bao “has no disagreement with the Board and there is no other matter relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders”, it added.

However, it did not provide any details about Mr Bao’s whereabouts.

He was one of China’s most high-profile bankers with a client list that included internet giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu.

In February, China Renaissance said: “The board has become aware that Mr Bao is currently cooperating in an investigation being carried out by certain authorities in the People’s Republic of China.”

“The company will duly cooperate and assist with any lawful request from the relevant PRC authorities, if and when made,” it added.

The announcement was the first time that China Renaissance had given a reason for the disappearance of its founder.

His disappearance came against the backdrop of a crackdown on leading technology companies by Chinese authorities.

In late 2020, Alibaba founder Jack Ma also disappeared from public view for three months, after making comments critical of market regulators. He had been due to publicly list his digital payments firm Ant Financial – which would have most likely made him the richest man in China.