According to reports, a Chinese billionaire named Ren Zhiqiang was sentenced to 18 years in prison on charges related to corruption. This comes months after he wrote a letter that harshly criticized the president of China for the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ren reportedly disappeared after writing the letter criticizing the president in March 2020. In the letter, Ren said, “Without a media representing the interests of the people by publishing the actual facts, the people’s lives are being ravaged by both the virus and the major illness of the system.”
Ren made an appearance in court on Tuesday and was found guilty embezzling $16.3 million USD in public funds, along with accepting bribes and abuse of power. CNN noted the court said Ren Zhiqiang “voluntarily confessed to all of his crimes,” and he accepted the court’s verdict.