Around Asia: Chen Guangbiao sets his sights on the Wall Street Journal

In Other News - January 10th, 2014

A Chinese tycoon who bills himself as China’s “Most Charismatic” philanthropist—he once handed out cash to the less fortunate on the streets —has shifted his sights to The Wall Street Journal after being unable to buy The New York Times.

Chen Guangbiao, CEO of Jiangsu Huangpu Recycling Resources, said he was now considering buying the Journal after a failed attempt at meeting with shareholders of the Times.

“I am going to talk to The Wall Street Journal and find out if it’s for sale,” the unfazed businessman said in an interview with Sinovision, a New York-based Chinese television station.

Chen said he is keen on buying an American newspaper and was serious about purchasing the Times to “rebuild its credibility and influence” by reforming its coverage of China. The paper’s reporting on China should be “more authentic and objective,” he said.

Chen admitted he might have ruined his chances of purchasing the Times because of the intensive media attention his approach gained.

The audacious businessman told South China Morning Post he was aware that many American papers were Jewish-owned. He said he was suitable for the job since he had “equally competent IQ and EQ” compared with Jews. “I am very good at working with Jews,” he said.

Chen made his fortune from recycling and ranks among China’s top 400 richest people, with a personal worth of $740 million in 2012. But he is apparently more than a millionaire. He is also the “Most Well-known and Beloved Chinese Role Model,” among the hefty list of accolades preceding his name in an English-language business card that he handed out to the press in New York.

During a news conference in New York on Tuesday, he said has brought two victims of self-immolation to the US to undergo surgery. Both women showed their horrific burns from setting themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2001.

He has pulled other public stunts such as handing out cash to victims of China’s 2008 earthquake and selling “canned fresh air” to residents of smog-ridden Beijing.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: \!/_PeacePlusOne/Flickr