Wang Jing, the controversial Chinese magnate who had not been heard from for months, reappeared this week via an article in the well-known business magazine “Bloomberg Businessweek”.
The wealthy businessman heads the Hong Kong-Nicaragua Development Company (HKND), the firm that was going to construct an inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua. However, the article focuses on the serious setbacks his projects have faced all over the world, indicating that “his canal dreams may look more and more like a fantasy.”
The magazine article doesn’t specify where the magnate is, but merely notes the roadblocks that Wang Jing’s companies and projects have faced over the past year, and how much delay his few wise investments have suffered. Among these, the Nicaraguan canal, obviously, doesn’t merit a mention; instead, it talks about the installations of the Xinwei telecommunications company that took four years to complete.
In March, Confidencial revealed that Wang Jing’s company, which in June of 2013 received a franchise from Comandante Daniel Ortega to construct an inter-oceanic canal in Nicaragua, had reduced its operations in the country to a minimum according to sources linked to the government and the private sector. “The information that we received from the top is that the canal is no longer going to happen,” stated a government source.
Scandal in the Ukraine
The article in Bloomberg Businessweek is titled “China’s unlucky tycoon: the ‘canal madman’ keeps finding trouble”. It notes a business scandal that Wang Jing was linked to in the Ukraine as one of his most recent reverses.
“Authorities named one of Wang’s companies as part of an alleged collusion with local businessmen to ‘destroy’ the country’s strategic manufacturing of aircraft engines by extracting assets,” states the article.
According to the information in the magazine, Wang Jing’s company attempted to buy a stake in Motor Sich PJSC, the Ukraine’s largest manufacturer of aircraft and helicopters. However, a Kiev tribunal froze those shares in September, when the Ukraine’s security service and prosecutors argued that the buyout could “eliminate” domestic production of jet engines by moving capacity offshore.
The Ukranian Motor Sich company stated in a July memo that “it had done nothing wrong” and had cooperated with the investigators. The firm declined requests for additional comments.
Bloomberg Businessweek clarifies that ‘the Ukrainian court doesn’t name Wang in its order. It lists businesses involved in the deal, including a unit of his Skyrizon group of companies, according to Chinese filings.”
Wang’s Xinwei telecommunications company offers scarce, slow signs of life
The magazine also mentions that Wang “plans to turn Xinwei into one of the world’s top three telecommunications companies. But in many countries where the company operates, such as Cambodia, there are few signs of a major telecom enterprise.”
A similar process occurred in Nicaragua, they add, where it took four years from the time that Xinwei signed a contract to offer mobile phone service before the company’s installation of 1,000 wireless base stations, according to the Nicaraguan state media.
“Xinwei really has a ghost presence on the ground,” Monica DeHart, an anthropologist at Puget Sound University who studies China’s footprint in Nicaragua, told Bllomberg Businessweek.
“Local press in China and Nicaragua have called Wang the ‘canal madman,’ skeptical that his plan for a second shipping route across Central America will ever be realized. Unless he finds a solution to his Ukraine problem, his canal dreams may look even more like a fantasy.
Translated by Habana Times