What the execution of maverick businessman Zeng Chengjie reveals about China's netherworld of shadow finance — and its risk to the global economy
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On July 12, 2013, businessman Zeng Chengjie, 54, was taken from his jail cell at the Second Detention Center in Changsha, the capital of China’s southern Hunan province, brought to an execution ground, and shot. The authorities did not inform Zeng’s family. The next day, his younger daughter Zeng Shan, hearing rumors of what had happened, rushed to the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court to discover her father’s name on a list of executed prisoners posted on an outer gate. “I became desperate,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it.” Two days later, her brother was unceremoniously handed a red pouch containing Zeng’s ashes.