Investor elopes, sets Chinese online community abuzz

Updated: 2011-05-19 14:11
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Wang Gongquan, co-founder of CDH Investment, raised eyebrows in China after posting plans to elope with his mistress on his microblog late Monday night.

Wang Gongquan, 50, made the announcement on the Twitter-like service at

"Relatives, friends and fellow colleagues, I have given up everything and eloped with Wang Qin," he wrote, referring to the founder of Jiangsu Zhongfu Science and Technology Industrial Group Co.

"I cannot face all your expectations and trust, don't know how to explain. Beg your forgiveness," Wang also wrote.

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"There are so many appointments and responsibilities that I can not make, so I will not turn on my mobile phone just yet. I don't care if my reputation is ruined," he posted in another thread on Wednesday morning.

Though Wang's current whereabouts remain a mystery, his declaration had been shared more than 73,000 times and drew over 37,000 comments by Wednesday.

While some netizens admired Wang's courage to pursue love, many felt sorry for Wang's wife and blamed him for his behavior.

Some people dismiss his act as a publicity stunt and contrary to leaving secretly as Wang's "elopement" is nothing but a "secret," commented netizen Xiqingwa.

CDH issued a letter saying that Wang "is taking some time off and that both the venture and private equity fund were operating normally."

CDH manages over $5.5 billion from more than 100 international and domestic institutional investors, including China's National Social Security, a sovereign wealth fund, according to information on the company's website.

CDH Venture, CDH's venture capital arm, is ranked by Forbes as the fifth best venture capital company in China. Wang joined CDH Investment in 2005 and set up CDH Venture in 2006.

"I believe the impact of Wang's move will be mainly on CDH Venture, while the impact on CDH Investment, as a whole, will be limited," said Li Weidong, lead analyst of ChinaVenture Group, a leading research and consulting institute in China.

Given Wang's important status in the company, his eloping will affect the CDH Venture's fund-raising, investment decision-making and other management issues, said Li.

There is a rumor that Wang's elopement announcement was a publicity stunt, since he is teaming up with Wang Qin to establish an investment company.

"I don't buy the rumor since the management team of CDH Investment have been quite stable, so I don't think Wang would like to set up another company due to work-related reasons," Li.

Even if Wang plans to set up a new company, given his proven record, he does not need to resort to this means to gain publicity, said Li.

Gavin Ni, CEO of Zero2IPO, integrated service provider in the China venture capital and private equity industry, wrote on his micro-blog Wednesday that "I was shocked and also felt sorry for Wang Gongquan. But as a friend, I respect his decision. I believe with CDH's strong team, CDH will be just fine."