Wang Jun, who chaired one of the world’s biggest asset-owning state conglomerates at Citic Group, dies at the age of 78

12-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Wang Jun, the son of one of communist China’s founding elders and a former chair of the country’s largest state conglomerate, died on Monday, aged 78.

Wang died at 10.56pm on June 10, according to a report by state-owned news outlet in Shanghai, citing unidentified sources and without elaborating. Xinhua News Agency, the government’s mouthpiece, has yet to report the news.

Calls to Citic’s head office in Beijing were unanswered. The company has yet to release a statement.

Wang, who carried the rank of a full government minister, was chair of China International Trust and Investment Corporation, better known as Citic, between 1995 and 2006. With 300 trillion yuan (US$43 billion) in estimated assets as of 2013, the Beijing-based state investment vehicle is one of the biggest owners of foreign assets in the world. Citic’s businesses range from banking and finance to real estate and heavy industries.

The company was founded in 1979 as a vehicle under direct control of the State Council, as China’s government cabinet is called, for the Chinese government to raise capital when it embarked on capitalist market reforms in the late 1970s. Citic’s founder Rong Yiren dubbed the Red Capitalist was China’s vice-president from 1993 until 1998.

Wang was born in Hunan province in 1941, while his father Wang Zhen was a brigade commander in one of the most celebrated commune farms operated by then communist guerillas. After the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, the senior Wang was hailed as one of the Eight Elders of the Communist Party, and rose to the rank of vice-president between 1988 and 1993.

One of the most influential “princelings” as the children of China’s Communist Party elders are called the son of the late vice-president worked as a shipyard engineer at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard in 1996 after graduating from Harbin Military Engineering Institute. He served a short stint with the People’s Liberation Army’s naval forces between 1977 and 1978, before joining the nascent Citic as a department chief.

Wang was promoted to be president of Citic in 1993 and was elevated into the top position of the conglomerate three years later when he became the chair. During his lifetime, Wang also chaired the board of the Poly Group, a state conglomerate with businesses from antiquities to real estate and military supplies and armaments.

He stepped down from the position when he reached retirement age of 65 in 2006, and was replaced by Kong Dan.

Wang was a golf lover and an honorary vice-chair of The China Golf Association.


Category: China

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