Aus businessman held in China

2010-11-26 09:01

  • Chinese Culture
    Read all you need to know about the Chinese culture in this insightful title. Now R447.00
    buy now

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.

- AP

Read more on:    china  |  australia

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


SA political parties go to church

Leaders of different political parties have attended a church service at the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in De Deur.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just more

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


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 network.


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.