June 15, 2020 / 3:22 AM / in 19 days

Chinese police say Midea founder rescued after house break-in

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, June 15 (Reuters) - Chinese police said on Monday that the billionaire founder of house appliance manufacturing giant Midea Group, He Xiangjian, had been rescued safely after his house was broken into the night before.

Police in the southern Chinese city of Foshan said in a statement that they had received a report on Sunday evening that a private home had been broken into and that its residents’ lives were under threat.

They eventually rescued a person surnamed He and arrested five suspects at around 5 a.m. local time on Monday morning (2100 GMT), the statement said, adding no one was injured. A Foshan policeman told Reuters that the person was He Xiangjian.

The 78-year-old He founded Midea in 1992 and stepped down as its chairman in 2012, but he continues to be the company’s controlling shareholder. The 2020 Hurun Global Rich List ranked him as the world’s 41st richest person with an estimated wealth of 182 billion yuan ($25.70 billion)

Midea Group thanked the police and the public for their concern towards the situation on its official account on the Twitter-like Weibo platform, where thousands of users had been speculating over He’s situation.

The case is under further investigation, the police said. ($1 = 7.0815 yuan) (Reporting by Sophie Yu in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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