Xiao Jianhua went missing from the Four Seasons in Central, Hong Kong, early this year. Photo: Four Seasons, Wikimedia Commons
Xiao Jianhua went missing from the Four Seasons in Central, Hong Kong, early this year. Photo: Four Seasons, Wikimedia Commons

Forget Stanley Ho Hung-sun, the 95-year-old Macau casino king who has 16 sons and daughters (from four wives). Another Chinese billionaire may in fact outrank him in the number of children he has sired – Xiao Jianhua, the tycoon who went missing from the Four Season Hotel in Hong Kong’s Central district earlier this year.

That is, at least, the claim from Sing Tao News Corp chairman Charles Ho, who suggests Xiao may have between 53 and 56 offspring.

A word of caution before you read on: Ho is generally more humorous than serious. Some of the following excerpts were not included in a report in his own English language newspaper, The Standard, but appeared in various Chinese titles.

“Almost everyone who knows Xiao knows he has many children,” Ho is reported to have said at Sing Tao’s 2016 Leader of the Year Awards ceremony. “Whenever he wants (to have sex), he picks a card from a pile of cards that have ladies’ names, along with their ovulatory information, written on the back. That means to say he expects to have a baby.”

The practice described echoes that followed by Chinese emperor’s when choosing a sexual partner. Ho added that Xiao only wanted to copulate with women who had been to good universities as he wanted his offspring to be smart.

Ho also said that Xiao was a “smart” guy and that it was impossible that he would have allowed himself to be “kidnapped” from Hong Kong to China.

Xiao, who is chairman of the Beijing-based Tomorrow Group and, according to the Hurun Report for 2016, commands a personal fortune of some US$6 billion, was last seen at the Four Seasons on January 27. His wife reported to Hong Kong police that he was missing but later dropped the case after being told that Xiao was safe.

Various rumours about Xiao’s disappearance have circulated. He has now not been seen in public for over six weeks.

Ho, a National Committee Member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said he believed Xiao had left the hotel by his own will. “The security at the Four Seasons Hotel is very strict, so that it is impossible for anyone to force or kidnap anyone out of the hotel,” Ho said.

“You can say he was persuaded to leave, but not kidnapped. “[Being persuaded to leave] is a common practice for overseas criminals.”

Too bad that no one other than Xiao can clear up what really happened – or clarify his familial situation.