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German man in Shenzhen charged with contract fraud

Posted: 12/11/2013 7:00 am

A German man and his Shanghai lover have been charged with contract fraud involving 360 million yuan in Shenzhen in an extraordinary story that involves false identities, running from the law, and opulent lifestyles.

Shenzhen Daily reports that Ms Zheng, 40, met the German man, identified only as Robert, in Shanghai in 2004. Robert claimed to be a software engineer born to a rich family and Zheng said she lived in Guangzhou and managed investments involving large amounts of cash.

The couple during better times. Image via Southern Metropolis Daily.

The paper has more:

They fell in love and eventually moved to Shenzhen after their hair salon business in Guangzhou had troubles, police said. Zheng then changed her name and was said to acquire five different identities with the help of friends.

In 2006, Zheng and Robert opened a jewelry company in Hong Kong.

Police said the pair cheated a dealer out of diamonds worth 925,800 yuan and then disappeared after they lost their money in stock trading.

In Shenzhen, they hobnobbed with the wealthy and powerful. Police said Zheng fabricated a glorious background for Robert to convince people they met, including wealthy government officials and top managers of big enterprises, of their pedigree.

They displayed extreme wealth, such as a coastal apartment that rented for 35,000 yuan a month, and were said to live a luxurious life with at least three limousines, a highly paid Hong Kong chauffeur and a Filipino maid, all to impress Shenzhen’s rich and famous.

Robert said that in his impression, Zheng was a smart, well-educated person with good conversation skills and knowledge of Western and Chinese cultures that made her charming.

Zheng tried to do business with people after earning their trust, police said. Robert said she always acted as a broker, saying she worked for a boss or another broker who was entrusted with certain funds, while concealing the truth that she was acting only with Robert.

Police said she signed an investment contract worth US$16 million with the president of a Taiwan life insurance company, surnamed Deng, who eventually lost all of his investment because the contract was fraudulent.

But it was all false, as Anna Zhao reports.

Born to ordinary parents in Shanghai, Zheng once worked in a bank’s foreign exchange department for two years before resigning to work in the Shanghai branch of a Hong Kong company, according to reports. She started her own investment consulting business in 2003.

In September 2004, Zheng was accused of taking tens of million yuan from her relatives and father’s friends on the excuse of helping them manage their properties, then disappearing with the wealth she had amassed.

She was listed as a fugitive online by Shanghai police in 2005.

Zheng reportedly told police that all the money she collected was for actual investments, but she lacked evidence to support those claims. Employees of her latest company told police that the two investment companies opened by the pair had hardly completed any deals.

This Gatsby-esque story emerges two months after Tea Leaf Nation published a brilliant article explaining why China’s young men see themselves in the aspirational, frustrated Gatsby.


German man beaten up in McDonald’s for confronting queue jumper

Posted: 10/31/2013 7:00 am

A German man was beaten up after confronting a queue jumper in a McDonald’s in Guangzhou in the small hours of August 24, Huadu District Prosecutor’s Office has been told.

The incident took place in the McDonald’s in the Vanguard supermarket complex on Yunshan Boulevard in Huadu. When the German confronted a Mr. Huang about cutting in line, Huang allegedly spat on the floor. The German then called over a waiter to clean it up.

After finishing his meal, the German stepped out of the McDonald’s and was set upon by Huang and three of his associates. Another German man was injured after stepping in to mediate. Both were taken to hospital but their injuries turned out to be minor.

Huang and his three associates were arrested in Qishan Village on Sept. 13, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

Uncivilised behaviour such as that shown by Huang is being targeted under Shenzhen’s civility laws that were introduced this year. But in most of the country it is still up to members of the public to keep each other in line. This is not the first time a foreigner has got himself beaten up for taking exception to the unruly behaviour of Chinese locals.


Get your beer on! Oktoberfest kicks off tonight in Guangzhou

Posted: 09/23/2011 5:48 pm

The taps are open and the brews are being poured (and likely spilled) at the Jinhan Exhibition Centre in Guangzhou. Oktoberfest is upon us once again, and that means beer, live music, beer, drunken laowai, beer, sausages, and more beer.

Honestly, it’s an event not to be missed, especially as it includes a vast German-style buffet and all the beer you can drink. The Nanfang will be out and about at Oktoberfest tomorrow night, so if you see a bloke with a camera around his neck and a beer in each hand, come by and say hello.

Oktoberfest runs from today (September 23) to next Wednesday, the 28th. You can get more details here.

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