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Second Chinese billionaire fashion tycoon goes missing, disappears while Metersbonwe forced to suspend trading

By Sonja Perera | Jan 11, 2016 08:39 AM EST
 An investor looks at his mobile phone in front of electronic screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in China
(Photo : REUTERS/STRINGER) An investor looks at his mobile phone in front of electronic screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, China, August 10, 2015.

China's self-made fashion tycoon and business magnet, Zhou Chengjian, 51,  has mysteriously disappeared prompting the Shanghai-based company he founded - Metersbonwe, the Chinese equivalent of H&M to suspend trading of its shares on the Chinese stock market.

According to the Daily Mail, the entrepreneur reported to be worth 26 billion Yuan ($ 3 billion) has been missing since Jan. 6. Chengjian's disappearance comes hot on the heels of another Chinese billionaire business figure, Guo Guangchang, who also went missing less than a month ago.

Guangchang who is known in the local business industry as the Chinese equivalent of Warren Buffet  is reported to have gone missing on Dec. 10 , 2015. Chinese media quoting stock market insiders claim Police arrested Chengjian and led him away on the day that he was last seen in public.

In a statement obtained by the British publication, Metersbonwe said  following the disappearance of its founder, the company announced the decision to suspend trading shares on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange adding that it was acting in accordance to regulations set by the  Stock Exchange.

The statement also claimed that presently the board secretary was unavailable for comment. It is reported that Chengjian is China's 62nd  richest man. Born to a farming family in a small village community  in east China, he  started his career in the apparel industry as a local tailor and then went on to  found Metersbonwe in 1995. 

The company is a prominent figure in the local clothing industry despite its unusual English sounding brand name. The name itself was created using Chinese characters, intended to sound foreign to local Chinese consumers, media  reports claimed.

According to the Straits Times, the company which specializes in inexpensive clothing for young people has nearly 5,000 franchises across the country. However, the publication revealed that industry experts allege that Chinese authorities are targeting the financial sector as part of an anti-graft campaign with many business tycoons taken in for disciplinary violations.

More recently the Metersbonwe company sought to build international recognition with actor Shia LaBeouf seen wearing a Metersbonwe t-shirt in the third  installment of the "Transformers" movie in 2011.

While Metersbonwe has claimed that it is investigating the disappearance of its chairman, at present no statement regarding his disappearance has been issued by the local authorities or the Chinese police.

Watch the video highlighting the brand value of Metersbonwe below

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