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Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 07:42 UK

Huang Guangyu, Chinese electronics tycoon, on trial

Huang Guangyu in Beijing, China (file image)

A tycoon who only recently topped China's rich list has gone on trial on charges of insider trading and bribery.

Huang Guangyu - the founder of China's second largest chain of electronics stores - has been in detention since January last year.

Huang Guangyu built a billion dollar business from almost nothing, after dropping out of school and starting a market stall nearly 30 years ago.

His business grew into a chain of more than 1,300 stores across China.

The BBC's Chris Hogg in Shanghai says canny investments in property helped Mr Huang build a fortune estimated to be between $2.7bn (£1.72bn) and $6.3bn at the time of his arrest.

Too rich?

In 2008 he topped the Hurun Report's China rich list. A few months later he was arrested.

The 40-year-old has been in detention ever since, charged with illegal business practices, insider trading and bribery, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a court statement as saying.

He is suspected of manipulating share trading for two listed companies - Sanlian Commercial Co and Beijing Centergate Technologies Co, Xinhua reported.

His wife, Lisa Du Juan, and the former chairman of a Huang-controlled property developing company, Xu Zhongmin, are also on trial with him in Beijing.

According to state media reports, government officials and police have also been implicated in the case.

Gome Appliances Co, a mainland subsidiary of the firm Mr Huang founded, is also accused of corporate bribery.

He stepped down as Gome's chairman last year, but is still its largest shareholder.

The trial, which is not open to the media, is expected to last three days. Our correspondent says it will be watched closely by the business community in Beijing.

The case will be the highest profile yet involving an entrepreneur in China.

Opinion polls in the state controlled media suggest many Chinese are suspicious of those who have made a great deal of money during China's economic reforms, believing them to be corrupt.



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