Business tycoon and Tomorrow Group owner Xiao Jianhua is under investigation in China’s mainland regarding his permanent abode in Hong Kong’s 5-star Four Seasons Hotel. The grand hotel is well-known to be the hideout of mainland billionaires, some more prominent than Xiao. The hotel has earned the nickname “north facing watchtower,” referring to the place where fugitives sit and face Beijing, waiting until it is safe to return.
The Four Seasons Hotel is a high-end luxury chain with its head offices in Canada. Totaling 399 guest rooms with 55 suites, most rooms at the Hong Kong location enjoy 180-degree panoramic views of Victoria Harbor. Suite rates start from US$1,300 to US$9,000 per day depending upon room selection and season. The hotel also offers serviced apartments for long-term rental from US$6,400 to US$26,000 per day, mere chicken feed for its resident billionaires.
A 10-minute walk from Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal and next door to the airport express train, the hotel is home to billionaires who spend their days overseeing their operations in the mainland and garnering information concerning their cases.
Since China’s new leader President Xi Jinping came to power, his fight against corruption has been ceaseless, a move that unnerved many mainland billionaires. To avoid investigation and interrogation, they flee as soon as they detect the slightest hint of inquiry, and check into Hong Kong’s Four Seasons until their legal matters are safely resolved.
The media recently suggested that Xiao is the only resident using the hotel as a hideout. However, other celebrity billionaires, such as the son-in-law of former Central Bank President Che Feng and the CEO of Kaisa Group, Quo Yingcheng, also call it home.
One interesting phenomenon at the hotel is that fat cats from the same province will check in at the same time. Meeting each other in the hotel restaurant, their typical greetings is: “How’s your case going?” They stay there and keep watch because they know in their hearts that nothing is certain until their legal proceedings in the mainland are brought to a close.
Translated by Cecilia and edited by Stefania.