By Laura He, CNN
Hong Kong (CNN) – Bao Fan, a star Chinese tech banker who disappeared a year ago amid Beijing’s anti-corruption crackdown, has formally resigned from the firm he founded, the company said.
China Renaissance announced in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday that Bao was stepping down as its chairman and CEO, effectively immediately, for “health reasons and to spend more time on his family affairs.”
“There is no other matter relating to his resignation that needs to be brought to the attention of the shareholders of the Company,” the Hong Kong-listed firm added.
It did not provide further details on Bao’s status or whether anyone had been in touch with him. In April, the company said it was forced to delay the release of its annual results, because its auditors were unable to reach Bao.
CNN has contacted China Renaissance for comment.
Last summer, the Economic Observer, a state-run financial publication, reported that Bao had been in the custody of the country’s top anti-graft watchdog since his disappearance in February 2023. He was said to be involved in an investigation into suspected corporate bribery, the report said.
China Renaissance announced a management reshuffle to replace its chairman and CEO, along with other top positions. Among the changes, Xie Yi Jing, co-founder of the company, will succeed Bao as its new chairman. He has also been “redesignated” from acting CEO to CEO of the company, the filing said.
Bao was a veteran banker in China’s tech industry. He founded China Renaissance in 2005 in Beijing and made it one of the top dealmakers for Chinese tech firms. He helped broker the 2015 merger between two of the country’s leading food delivery services, Meituan and Dianping. Today, the combined company’s “super app” platform is ubiquitous in China.
The banker’s disappearance sent a chill through China’s financial markets and its tech sector. The company later said Bao was “cooperating in an investigation” by certain authorities in China, without giving further details.
Bao’s disappearance coincided with a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown launched by the ruling Communist Party into the financial sector, which has ensnared more than a dozen senior executives at China’s biggest financial institutions.