IP Theft, Diamond Trade, and The Wen Family Fortune
Explore the live network of Wen family company ties
Last week, the New York Times published an expose (including this excellent infographic) on the fortune amassed by family of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. We wanted to expand on their work by using Recorded Future to identify additional connections between members of the Wen family and controversial companies or organizations. We found several interesting ties or details that were not described in the NYT related to Wen Jiabao’s son Wen Yunsong (also known as Winston Wen) including:
- Sinovel: the largest wind turbine manufacturer in China currently entangled in an intellectual property lawsuit with American Superconductor (AMSC), which has accused the Chinese company of stealing its source code. One of Sinovel’s major investors is the private equity group New Horizon Capital, co-founded by Wen Yungsong.
- Sihuan Pharmaceutical Group Holdings: in October 2010, Wen’s private equity group New Horizon Capital abandoned its plans to invest in the pharmaceutical company’s Hong Kong exchange IPO due to concerns it was breaching listing rules by investing “too close to the proposed listing date”. The firm still made more than $46 million on its initial investment and publicly declared Wen’s lack of involvement.
- Union Mobile Pay: during the fall of 2011, approved as one of the first non-financial institutions allowed to operate payment systems. The English language article from China.org reporting the news was entitled “Lucky 13 get PBOC Licenses”; Wen Yunsong and his wife have a stake in the company.
Some other interesting connections to the rest of Wen Jiabao’s family:
- Wen’s son-in-law Liu Chunhang is head of the statistics and research departments at the China Bank Regulatory Commission. He was reportedly taught by Cambridge professor Peter Nolan, who was awarded professorship from £3.7 million donation by the obscure Chong Hua Foundation, which led to controversy over ties to the Chinese government.
- His wife, Zhang Beili, as described in the New York Times article not only headed the state-owned China Mineral and Gem Corp. but also set up the National Gemstone Testing Center and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, powerful regulatory institutions for the diamond trade in China.
Take a look at the Recorded Future network of organizational relationships for the Wen family (be patient with loading) from the last five years and see if anything stands out to you. Use the visual as a complement to the New York Times piece, and we’d love to get your thoughts in the comments below.