Chinese billionaire quits post after changing nationality

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 19:35

Beijing: A Chinese legislator turned businesswoman, who immigrated abroad despite being vocal opponent of immigration, has resigned from the membership of the Chinese People`s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the upper house of legislature.

Zhang Lan, founder and chairwoman of the Beijing-based restaurant group South Beauty, has resigned her membership of the CPPCC, Zheng Huang, the committee`s vice chairman was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

He said Zhang`s application reached the committee on Monday, more than two months after the businesswoman renounced her Chinese citizenship.

"The committee has confirmed that Zhang had her hukou (Chinese household registration) cancelled on September 17," Zheng said. China does not recognise dual or multiple citizenship.

Chinese law stipulates that once a Chinese takes foreign citizenship, he or she loses Chinese nationality. It is not known yet the country, she migrated to.

Her migration has caused embarrassment here as she vocally opposed Chinese officials and citizens seeking overseas nationality in order to transfer their wealth.

Zhang is a staunch opponent of emigration saying that wealthy Chinese who emigrate have taken considerable wealth out of the country.

"I`m Chinese and the blood in my body is Chinese," she told Chinese TV channel before she left the country adding that she had refused an invitation from Canada to immigrate there in 1991, after she worked there for years.

"I will be loyal to my country because I`m a Chinese," she said.
Zhang`s nationality change has triggered public controversy, with people doubting her eligibility for membership of China`s political advisory body.

The Hurun China Rich List of the nation`s wealthiest individuals ranked Zhang 589th with an estimated fortune of 3. 1 billion yuan (USD 490 million dollars) in 2011.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 19:35

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