Zhou Zhengyi, the former richest man in Shanghai, recently celebrated his 60th birthday at a hotel after his release from prison, with six hosts from Shanghai’s Oriental TV show. The latest news is that Beijing sent an investigation team to Shanghai to look into the details of the birthday party. The six hosts have now been suspended from their duties, which may involve charging a fee to appear on stage.
Zhou Zhengyi, who was released from prison last year, celebrated his 60th birthday last Sunday (April 18) with a banquet at the Wanda Ruihua Hotel in Shanghai. Six hosts from Shanghai Oriental TV, including Cheng Lei, Chen Rong and Zhu Zhen, who were invited to attend the banquet and stood up for Zhou Zhengyi, were therefore included in the list of those who were not allowed to appear on stage. The latest news is that the six hosts have been suspended from their jobs, and sources within the circle say that each received about 100,000 yuan from Zhou Zhengyi for his appearance on stage.
According to Mr. Fang, a source close to the entertainment industry in Shanghai, an investigation team from Beijing arrived in Shanghai a few days ago to investigate the circumstances surrounding Zhou Zhengyi’s birthday party.
“The central investigation team came, as far as I know because ‘not forgetting the beginning’, not the municipal party committee directly investigated, it is the investigation team is investigating, now it is the central investigation team to investigate, not yet the turn of the local government to investigate. Shanghai’s SMG Group (Shanghai Media Group) has several top executives went to (birthday banquet), he himself still does not admit, was dug out photos.”
In the mainland media circle of friends, some people exposed the news that the six hosts of the East TV originally said they did not take money, but now all confessed, each 100,000 yuan appearance fee. Even Zhou Zhengyi did not hold up. It was also said that the Shanghai Second Intermediate Court approved Zhou Zhengyi’s release nearly two years early, and all those who signed the papers will be investigated.
Li Tianhai, a businessman familiar with China’s political environment, told the station that Zhou Zhengyi may be in big trouble, but he doesn’t know it yet. Li Tianhai said that Zhou was “to blame”.
The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to the public. But you have to look at who’s doing the work. This kind of work can not afford to do. Nowadays, to be honest, that kind of opportunity to come to a small amount of money has not much, those people eat a meal down 100,000 yuan, really quite cost-effective. But this kind of thing is not careful, fall into the ditch.”
WeChat rumors, a number of hosts on the way to Zhou Zhengyi’s birthday dinner received advice from friends, halfway back, can be said to have escaped a disaster. Another host, Chen Chen, who also received an invitation from Zhou Zhengyi, was filming outside at the time, and finally escaped the investigation.
Zhou Zhengyi is a high-profile person, more than a decade ago the Shanghai social security case led to the then Shanghai Party Secretary Chen Liangyu and a number of senior Shanghai officials. Zhou Zhengyi was sentenced to 16 years in prison and was released two years early. It is rumored that the investigation team’s investigation targets, including Zhou Zhengyi’s birthday banquet stage scenery written “do not forget the original heart, return to the original color”, to investigate the true meaning of the word “original color”.
According to media reports in mainland China, Zhou Zhengyi started his business from a factory, and after making his first bucket of money, he and his wife Mao Yuping opened a restaurant called “A Mao Stew” in Shanghai in 1994. It is said that Hong Kong artists such as Jackie Chan and Shirley Kwan have dined at “Ah Mao Stew”. At the end of 2002, the Forbes list of 100 richest people in mainland China advanced Zhou Zhengyi’s name to the 11th position. Zhou Zhengyi’s wealth, which he advertised as being worth more than 40 billion yuan, was investigated by the authorities and he was sentenced twice to a total of 19 years in prison. After his release from prison last year, the high-profile Zhou Zhengyi continued to be investigated again recently.
Zhou Zhengyi’s case continues to generate heated debate within his circle.