Ren Zhiqian
Source: CNN Business

Ren Zhiqian, a Chinese billionaire and real-estate tycoon is jailed for 18 years. What did he do? Well, he criticized Xi Jinping. If you are in China, you are not allowed to do so.

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He wrote a scathing essay criticizing Xi Jinping’s response to the COVID19 pandemic. He had contacts with senior Chinese officials as well. He thought he would escape. But in March, he went missing, reported CNN Business.

Now, a court has confirmed that he has been jailed for 18 years for corruption charges. He has been charged with embezzling $16.3mn in public funds, accepting bribes, and abuse of power that caused a loss of $17.2mmn for the state-owned property company, he once headed.

A total of $620,000 fine is imposed on him as well. The court said, he voluntarily confessed all his crimes. China has a 99% conviction rate. The corruption charges are very common in China for those who go against CCP.

This is a warning to the Chinese elite that any criticism against Xi would have such severe consequences.

Ren Zhiqian was born in the Chinese elite and has been outspoken on politics. He is even nicknamed ‘The Canon’ in Chinese social media.

In the essay written in March, Ren spoke about the crackdown on press freedom and intolerance of dissent. He did not mention Xi Jinping but referred top leader as power-hungry ‘Clown’.

Soon after the article was published, Ren went missing. It is now resurfaced that he has been charged under corruption for 18 years.

In Xi’s China, if you dare to speak, you are going to end up in Jail.