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Politics

Real estate tycoon who criticised Xi is under investigation

Ren Zhiqiang had gone missing last month after calling leader a 'clown'

A woman wearing a protective mask is seen past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a street in Shanghai.   © Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) -- Former Chinese property executive Ren Zhiqiang, who went missing last month after criticizing President Xi Jinping over his handling of the coronovirus outbreak, is under investigation for "serious disciplinary violation", the Beijing municipal anti-corruption watchdog said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Ren, a former top executive at state-controlled property developer Huayuan Real Estate Group and a member of the ruling Communist Party, had gone missing after calling Xi a "clown" in an essay following a speech by China's leader, Reuters reported, citing his friends.

The phrase "serious disciplinary violations" is often used by Chinese authorities in reference to graft investigations.

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