Son of Chinese ex-Premier Wen Jiabao arrested: reports

Winston Wen major investor in Alibaba Group: reports

Former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The son of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) has been detained in what could be one of the highest-profile arrests since last autumn’s 19th Communist Party congress, media reported Wednesday.

Winston Wen (溫雲松) has generally been described as a businessman who grew wealthy thanks to the influence of his father, who served as premier from 2003 to 2013. The New York Times caused a stir in 2012 when it accused members of the Wen family of having hidden away US$2.7 billion (NT$80 billion) in assets.

According to the news site Bowen Press, after resigning from the board of mobile services provider Unihub last month, the younger Wen stayed out of sight until he was detained.

Wen has been named by reports as a major investor in Alibaba Group and as an aggressive shareholder, even threatening companies which did not welcome him, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported Wednesday.

Two years ago, a major disciplinary body reportedly warned Wen Jiabao about his son’s allegedly illegal activities, and ahead of the recent reported arrest, President Xi Jinping (習近平) called on his predecessor Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) to gain his approval.

Media reports failed to identify what Winston Wen would be charged with, but unless his father would be accused of committing “errors” of a political nature, the case would probably be handled quietly.