May 18th, 2011
06:27 AM GMT
Hong Kong, China (CNN) – The internet in China is on fire after the online announcement that billionaire Wang Gongquan, co-founder of CDH Investment, was planning to run away with his mistress, Wang Qin, the founder of Jiangsu Zhongfu Science and Technology Industrial Group Co.
On Monday night, on Sina Weibo – a popular microblog site similar to Twitter (which is banned in the mainland) - the billionaire wrote:
“Friends, relatives and colleagues, I am giving up everything and eloping with Wang Qin. Thank you for the care and support over the years. I wish you all happiness! I cannot face everyone’s expectations and trust, and we also cannot explain. I’m sorry for leaving without saying goodbye. I ask for forgiveness.”
Since the post, the Chinese press and online community – the world’s largest – has been abuzz over the announcement.
Today, a new post from Wang, one of China’s top venture capitalists, is bound to fan the flames. Wang wrote that family and friends were worried he had been “taken away by the government” for his past speeches on sensitive matters and defense of Xu Zhiyong, a Beijing University lecturer and human rights activist.
China has been cracking down on dissent in recent months – most notably with the detainment of artist Ai Weiwi – following the uprisings earlier this year in the Middle East and calls for similar protests in China.
A translation of what Wang wrote: “Many family members and friends are worried about me and thought I was forced to disappear because I make sensitive comments and participate activities of fighting for equal rights for education that started by Xu Zhiyong,” he wrote, referring to the Beijing University lecturer and founder of the Open Constitution Initiative who was arrested in 2009 on tax evasion charges.
“In addition to this, there are too many meetings and appointments that I can’t make as well as can’t fulfill duties and promises. Can’t switch on mobile phone – sorry, can only inform of my eloping via Weibo to clarify everybody’s confusion. I don’t care if people abuse me in order to disgrace me and ruin my reputation.”
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that CDH – whose venture capital arm, CDH Venture, is ranked by Forbes as the 5th best venture capital company in China – has distributed a letter saying Wang “is taking some time off and that both the venture and private equity fund were operating normally.”
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