Friday, August 1, 2014

Edelman China Chief Missing

The powerhouse corporate public relations firm Edelman reports that the CEO of its China group, Steven Cao, has been missing for more than a week.

 The disappearance comes following a police investigation into the agency’s links to a disgraced television anchor  Rui Chenggang.

“It is our understanding that Steven Cao is co-operating with authorities on the investigation,” Edelman said.

Rui, a celebrity anchor of a prominent financial news show on China’s state-owned CCTV, was detained by police on July 11.

FT reports:
Mr Cao joined Edelman from Pegasus Communications, which he founded with Mr Rui in 2002 and still runs.
After Mr Rui was detained, Chinese state media reported that he had been arrested on corruption charges, and that Pegasus was ensnared in the corruption case against him. Pegasus’s Beijing offices were visited by Chinese investigators on July 24, the company said.
In a statement on July 14, US-based Edelman confirmed that in 2007 it had bought a 78 per cent stake in Pegasus, while Mr Rui continued to own an 8 per cent stake until 2010...

Political observers have connected the case against Mr Rui to political intrigues in the upper echelons of the Chinese elite. Mr Rui appears to have been embroiled in a corruption case built against his former boss, CCTV’s financial news channel director Guo Zhenxi, who was arrested in June in a corruption investigation that has ensnared nearly a dozen top CCTV employees.
Family-controlled Edelman is the world’s largest public relations group by sales, according to the Holmes Report, an industry survey.

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