Anbang Insurance Group is a Chinese insurance company with as much as $295 billion in assets.

Press accounts have concluded that Anbang’s ownership and financial backing remain largely a mystery. Reporters have identified a number of relationships linking Anbang officials to China’s government.

Murky ownership

In an article describing a meeting between Anbang Chairman Wu Xioahui and Jared Kushner, the New York Times noted Anbang’s “deep ties to the Chinese state”. Mr. Wu is reportedly married to the granddaughter of former head of China, Deng Xiaoping. Chen Xiaolu, the youngest son of Chinese general Chen Yi, has reportedly been listed as an Anbang director and a top official in four Anbang companies. Another reported Anbang director, Levin Zhu (also Zhu Yunlai), is reportedly the son of former Premier Zhu Rongji and the former President of the government-run investment bank, China International Capital Corporation. A past director, Long Yongtu, was China’s chief negotiator in the talks that led to their membership in the World Trade Organization.

The New York Times reported in 2016 that at least 35 companies collectively owning 92 percent of Anbang can trace “all or part of their ownership” to relatives of Mr. Wu, or to his wife, or to Chen Xiaolu.

Government-owned entities that reportedly have held a stake in Anbang include the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group).

Abandoned deals

Anbang pulled out of its $14 billion bid to purchase US hotel chain Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 2016 amidst questions about its financing and ownership.

Also in 2016, Anbang pulled back from its effort to buy US life insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life. In February 2017, Fidelity & Guaranty reported that it will consider other offers.

One deal, to buy the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, fell apart in October amid concerns from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which comprises the heads of nine federal agencies and is charged with reviewing the national security risks of transactions involving foreign governments or state-connected companies.”

New York Times, Jan. 7, 2017