Toledo's China Connection
In a three-day series, The Blade profiles Chinese investors Wu Kin Hung and Yuan Xiaohong, who have purchased The Docks restaurant complex across from downtown Toledo and the Marina District in East Toledo for about $6 million.
Sunday: Toledo Mayor Mike Bell said more than a year ago that he did not know much about the two Chinese investors who purchased The Docks restaurants and soon after promised to develop the city’s long-envisioned Marina District. With the mayor deciding to sell some of Toledo’s most important real estate and the city’s most valuable assets without researching the backgrounds of the buyers, The Blade decided to take on that task, hiring an investigative firm with offices in China to provide background information on Wu Kin Hung and Yuan Xiaohong — the two behind Dashing Pacific Group Ltd.
Inquiry sheds light on Chinese investors (2/19/12)
An interview with Yuan Xiaohong: (2/19/12) One of the Dashing Pacific investors interviewed by The Blade on Jan. 31. Here is the transcript.
A statement from Wu Kin Hung: (2/19/12) After initially agreeing to be interviewed by The Blade, Wu Kin Hung of Dashing Pacific Group backed out. Included are the questions the Blade sent to Mr. Wu and his reply statement.
E-mail from Tom Ho, employee of Edelman (2/19/12)
Due Dilegence (editorial, 2/19/12)
Monday: Shenzhen real estate tycoon Wu Kin Hung last summer led Toledo Mayor Mike Bell to the top of the city’s “Empire Building,” the glass skyscraper he is most well-known for. With the mayor and his business partner Yuan Xiaohong standing at his side posing for photos, Mr. Wu boasted about the building’s construction, which he oversaw. Now, Mr. Wu is a key figured poised to recreate East Toledo’s waterfront with a new $200 million development at the Marina District. An investigation commissioned by The Blade in China shows that the two investors made their millions working under China’s common system of patronage, and it appears both owe much to their connections with officials in the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
Tuesday: Dashing Pacific Group Chairman Yuan Xiaohong is described by Mayor Mike Bell as a family-loving, outgoing, and successful woman. But among her subordinates in China, Ms. Yuan has a harsher reputation — more like that of an “Iron Lady,” as one of her employees called her. Mr. Bell says his interactions with Ms. Yuan like those during his three trips to China are all the proof he needs that she and her business partner Wu Kin Hung are good partners for the city of Toledo. A China-based company, hired by The Blade to look into the investors backgrounds, discovered intriguing information about the backgrounds of Ms. Yuan and Mr. Wu, including connections with government officials.