Ready to Rumble

Li Jianguo remembers the day he learned what his wealth might cost him. The multimillionaire owner of a Chinese herbal-medicine company, Li was living in Hainan in the early 1990s when a kidnapper snatched his friend's young son from school and demanded $400,000 in ransom. Police rescued the boy, but not before revealing that the kidnapper had been a close friend of both men. Li says he "realized then that as soon as a Chinese person discloses his wealth, danger is waiting." Today he refrains from inviting friends to his opulent Beijing villa, keeps his net worth a secret (Jianguo is...

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