Li Huaiqing was the director of a private enterprise in Chongqing. He’s famous for donating to help the underprivileged. In late 2017, while taking part in a charity event, participants – mostly private entrepreneurs and famous scholars – discussed the corruption problems of the Ministry of Public Security. In January 2018, Li and several staff from his company were taken away by the police. Li was first accused of “false litigation”. Until January 2019, Li was indicted for “false imprisonment, fraud, extortion and inciting subversion of state power”. At last, he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment and all his assets frozen in November 2020. Eight of Li’s employees were also sentenced to jail, ranging from 4 to 16 years. His wife Bao Yan said they would appeal.
姓名： 李懷慶（Li Huaiqing）
Name: Li Huaiqing (李懷慶)
Date of birth: 29 April 1966
Occupation: Veteran, private entrepreneur (Chairman of Chongqing Fuhua Pawn Co., Ltd.), philanthropist
Date of detention: taken away by police on 31 January 2018
Location: Jiangbei District, Chongqing City
Ground of detention: Chongqing Public Security Bureau put him under criminal detention on 2 February 2018, on suspicion of “false litigation"
Date of formal arrest: 12 February 2018
Date of Indictment: On 30 January 2019, the First Branch of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Procuratorate prosecuted Li for “false imprisonment, fraud, extortion and inciting subversion of state power".
Legal representation: Lawyer Fan Chen, Lawyer Ge Yongxi. Before the trial, Li was not allowed to meet with his lawyers, and neither his lawyers nor his family received an arrest notice or document informing them Li’s charge of “inciting subversion of state power"
Date of trial: On 8 June 2020, the hearing started in Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court
Date of sentencing: 20 November 2020
Sentence: Li was sentenced to 20 years in prison, deprived of political rights for 3 years, and all assets under his name were frozen. Eight employees of Li Huaiqing were also sentenced to imprisonment, ranging from 4 to 16 years.
Location of detention/imprisonment: Jiangbei District Detention Centre, Chongqing City
Li Huaiqing is the director of the Chongqing private enterprise Fuhua Pawn Co., Ltd., and a prominent philanthropist. According to Li Huaiqing’s wife Bao Yan, Li has been caring for and funding disadvantaged groups. Over the years, he has subsidized poor children in the Daliangshan area and former comrades from the army who were in financial difficulties, volunteered for Da-ai-qing-chen (an organization to support migrant workers who contracted silicosis from workplace). He has donated about 300,000 yuan in total.
In late 2017, he participated in a charity event organized by the “Gonghe Foundation" in Hangzhou city, during which participants talked about corruption in the Ministry of Public Security. Participants suggested that they should report this problem to Xi Jinping by writing him letters. Ministry of Public Security got wind of this meeting and decided to punish private entrepreneurs such as Li Huaiqing as retaliation, while most of the other attendees were CEOs of listed companies and well-known scholars.
On 31 January 2018, Li and several employees were taken away by the police. He was criminally detained by the Chongqing Public Security Bureau on 2 February 2018, on suspicion of “false litigation", and was formally arrested on 12 February 2018. On 12 July of the same year, the Chongqing Public Security Bureau transferred his case to the People’s Procuratorate of Jiangbei District for review and prosecution on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power." The latter further transferred the case to the First Branch of the Chongqing Municipal People’s Procuratorate for review and prosecution on 24 July 2018. On the grounds of insufficient evidence and unclear facts, it twice sent the case back to the Public Security Bureau for supplementary investigation. It was until 30 January 2019 that Li was formally charged with “false imprisonment, fraud, extortion and inciting subversion of state power". The authorities also freezed the assets of Li Huaiqing, his company and his sister (who has not involved in any cases), involving more than 100 million yuan.
Li Huaiqing was accused of “inciting subversion of state power by spreading rumors and slander" on WeChat in seven occasions between October 2017 and January 2018, including re-posting an article called “Fourth Red Army Killed Millions in Sichuan"*, sending audio clips including phrases such as “moral resistance", “violent revolution" to others. These WeChat messages are indeed private messages that Li forwarded to his eldest son and chats with his friends. Mrs. Li said that “those are simply private chats and are now used as evidence that he incited subversion of state power."
During detention, neither Li Huaiqing’s lawyers nor his family received an arrest notice or document stating that he “incited subversion of state power." The case was heard in Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court on 8 June 2020, but no verdict was pronounced on that day. The court stated that due to the COVID-19 [andemic, the number of Li Huaiqing’s witnesses to testify in court was restricted to a maximum of two persons. His wife Bao Yan believes that the court was using the pandemic as an excuse to deliberately obstruct relevant personnel from testifying for Li.
Li was sentenced to 20 years in prison, deprived of political rights for 3 years, and all assets under his name were frozen on 20 November 2020. Eight employees of Li Huaiqing were also sentenced to imprisonment, ranging from 4 to 16 years. His wife said they would appeal.
*Li is not the original author of this article. The article he shared stated that in the autumn of 1932, the Fourth Army led by Zhang Guotao brought more than 20,000 soldiers to northern Sichuan. According to the “Sichuan Monthly", the Red Army massacred the local people and caused a total causality of 1.1 million.
Twitter account of Mrs Li, Bao Yan: https://twitter.com/xmnyby
Updated on: 12 January 2021