Aus businessman held in China

2010-11-26 09:01
Shanghai - An Australian entrepreneur is being detained in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in connection with a police investigation, his company says.

Travel services company Et-China, a joint venture partner with China Southern Airlines, said in a statement on its website on Friday that its chief executive officer, Matthew Ng, had been detained by police "as part of their investigations as a suspect of the crime of misappropriation of company assets."

"As far as Et-China is aware at present Matthew Ng has not been charged with any offense," it said.

The company's acting CEO, Chris Rose, urged authorities to resolve the matter and release Ng.

Police in Guangzhou did not immediately respond to phoned and faxed requests for comment on Friday.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed on Friday the detention on suspicion of embezzlement of a 44-year-old Australian man and long-time resident of China on November 16. It refused to release his name, citing privacy laws.

Australian news reports said the detention was related to a business dispute between Et-China, which has shares listed on the London Stock Exchange, and a local partner.

The case follows the arrest and subsequent conviction earlier this year of four employees of mining giant Rio Tinto for bribery and infringing trade secrets. The case raised worries over the vulnerability of employees of foreign companies to often selective enforcement of the country's vague state secrets and corruption laws.

Australian citizen Stern Hu, who at the time was in charge of Rio Tinto's troubled iron ore price negotiations with China was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison while three colleagues were imprisoned for seven to 14 years.

Ng's bio on his company's website says he has worked as an investment banker in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand and was educated in New Zealand and Australia.

He founded Et-China in 2000 and launched another company, e-JV, with Guangzhou-based China Southern to provide the carrier's e-ticketing sales and services. The venture is due to run until April 2018.

The company has financial backing from major Australian businesses, according to Australian news reports.

The Australian newspaper The Age, said Ng was embroiled in a dispute with local company Guangdong Lingnan International Enterprise over control of an Et-China subsidiary, Guangzhou GZL International Travel Services.

Lingnan, a state-owned group that operates several prestigious Guangzhou hotels, opposed a planned acquisition of Et-China by Switzerland's Kuoni Group, the report said.

According to Et-China's website, GZL is 50.64% owned by Et-China and is one of the country's largest leisure tour operators.

Read more on:    china  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The right brain is emphasised today and it is easy for you to fly into the world of imagination and fantasy with ease. You may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.