He has four names, three birthdays, a 9,000 square foot apartment overlooking Central Park – and the 150ft yacht where his $1 million-a-year hired Svengali Steve Bannon was seized by armed postal agents in August.
Guo Wengui has claimed he is toppling the Chinese communist party, and faced allegations he is one of their most devious agents.
He was catapulted into an unwelcome spotlight in August when FBI agents arrested Bannon aboard his yacht and reports emerged that the Chinese billionaire was also under investigation.
And now speculation is swirling that Guo could be at the center of an alleged foreign-backed campaign to leak ‘three hard disks’ about Joe Biden‘s son Hunter, unleashing ‘a big money and sex scandal’.
This week the New York Post reported they had received a bombshell cache of emails and photos from a laptop Hunter left at a computer store.
The emails purportedly revealed details of the younger Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, demands for more than $30 million in China, and selfies of the recovering drug addict including one with an apparent crack pipe in his mouth.
The newspaper said they received the documents from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, after being tipped off about their existence by Bannon.
But almost two weeks earlier, a Twitter account linked to Guo had already published cryptic posts hinting at ‘three hard disks’ about Hunter which would cause ‘a big money and sex scandal’.
Chinese Billionaire Guo Wengui fled his home country in 2014, claiming he had been targeted as a threat to senior communist party members
Together on the yacht: This is Steven Bannon on the Lady May with its owner Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire who has declared his own new government of China. The 150ft vessel was off Connecticut when he was taken into custody
The account, Himalaya Global, posted a video on September 25 which mentioned ‘videos and dossiers’ and appeared to anticipate the release of the cache of potentially damaging information about Joe Biden’s son, the Daily Beast reported.
Speaking in Chinese, the man in the video spoke about ‘three disks’ which he claimed had been sent by the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party to the U.S. Department of Justice and to Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker and which would cause a scandal over money and sex.
Both Ding and Himalaya Global are linked to Guo, and the Twitter account has frequently featured Bannon’s podcast.
This was Guo Wengui and Rudy Giuliani in a tweet posted on the day the New York Post said the president’s attorney passed the newspaper a copy of Hunter Biden’s hard drive
There is speculation Guo could be at the center of an alleged foreign-backed campaign to leak ‘three hard disks’ about Joe Biden’s son Hunter. This post on a YouTube channel linked to Guo Wengui has close parallels to the release of his laptop’s emails and photographs
Hunter Biden’s laptop contained emails about his business dealings, sexually explicit pictures and footage of him apparently smoking crack
On the day Giuliani says he gave the Post Hunter’s hard drive, Guo tweeted a picture of himself with Giuliani, cigar in hand, a big smile on his face and his arm around the president’s personal attorney.
This summer Bannon had been staying on the self-styled Chinese dissident’s $28 million vessel, Lady May, for weeks before his arrest for allegedly defrauding his Mexico border wall charity of $25 million.
The pair planned the next phase in their grand scheme to foment regime change in China.
A YouTube video posted in August shows Bannon with a slight sunburn, popped collar, and cigar in hand, standing next to Guo in one of the yacht’s glitzy rooms, railing against the Chinese government.
Later that month Bannon was arrested aboard the boat on charges he pocketed donations to a crowd-funded US-Mexico border wall fundraiser; a scheme unrelated to his dealings with Guo.
The pair met in October 2017 when Bannon was still working as Donald Trump’s chief strategist, and say they bonded over their shared loathing of the Chinese government.
After Trump fired Bannon, Guo hired him in a $1 million consulting contract in 2018, retaining the former presidential Svengali to introduce Guo to ‘media personalities’ and advise Guo’s nascent media company.
At some point Guo joined Mar-a-Lago where he was photographed by DailyMail.com just after Christmas 2018.
Bannon says he also took on an unpaid role chairing Guo’s $100 million fund to investigate corruption and aid Chinese dissidents – a badge Guo himself wears with pride.
The enigmatic businessman is believed to have made his fortune in real estate, and says he came from humble beginning in a rural Chinese province
Guo joined Mar-a-Lago where he was photographed by DailyMail.com just after Christmas 2018
Guo was spotted by DailyMail.com in December 2018 on the grounds of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida
The billionaire fled his home country in 2014, claiming he had been targeted as a threat to senior communist party members, and began to build a huge social media following as an outspoken critic of China seeking asylum in the US.
But despite his high profile, many details about his life remain unclear. He is known by four different names: Guo Wengui, Miles Kwok, Guo Wugui and Guo Haoyun. Though there is consensus on his age, 50, his birthday has been reported as February 2, May 10, or ‘sometime in June’.
He has divided opinions even among his fellow dissidents – some adoringly printing his slogans on t-shirts, and others claiming he is in fact a Chinese government spy.
The enigmatic businessman is believed to have made his fortune in real estate, and says he came from humble beginnings with vivid descriptions of foraging twigs for firewood in a rural Chinese province during the country’s brutal 1970s Cultural Revolution.
Guo, who now owns lavish apartments in major cities, says he made his first property deal age 25, and began building his real estate empire in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou where he constructed the city’s then-tallest building, the Yuda International Trade Center.
He soon learned how to navigate the country’s delicate political system – winning a construction row with the deputy mayor of Beijing after turning in a sex tape of the politician with his mistress, according to Guo and Chinese media reports from the time.
Guo’s 150ft, $28million mega yacht is pictured wading in the water. This summer Bannon had been staying on the self-styled Chinese dissident’s vessel, Lady May, for weeks before his arrest for allegedly defrauding his Mexico border wall charity of $25 million
FBI agents arrested Steve Bannon aboard Guo’s $28 million yacht in August. Bannon is pictured on Guo’s yacht shortly before his arrest
As well as his $28 million yacht, he acquired a 9,000-square-foot apartment overlooking Central Park on the 18th-floor of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue and similarly luxurious pads in London and Hong Kong.
Aiding his skyscraper ambitions, Guo made friends in high places. One was the vice minister of China’s secret police, Ma Jian.
According to the billionaire, party leaders became scared of Ma’s trove of dirt on government officials, arresting the vice minister in January 2015. Guo fled months before, and says he believed he was next.
Chinese courts have since said that Ma corruptly bolstered Guo’s business, ordering security officials to threaten Guo’s rival bidder in a company acquisition and lobbying regulators to approve his business deals. Guo says the Party is trying to smear him.
Once in the US he began building a social media following by spilling to the world alleged secrets of corruption and affairs by Communist Party officials.
Guo has claimed he has another, highly personal motive for seeking to bring down his former government.
He said after he donated to students fundraising for the fateful 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, police came looking for him – and ended up killing his brother.
Guo began to build a huge social media following as an outspoken critic of China while seeking asylum in the US. He’s pictured at his Central Park mansion
As well as his $28 million yacht, he acquired a 9,000-square-foot apartment overlooking Central Park on the 18th-floor of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel on New York’s Fifth Avenue
Guo who is living in a massive Fifth Avenue home while seeking political asylum. Pictured is the view from his $67.5 million penthouse overlooking Central Park
‘Two drunken policemen raided Guo’s office and fired their weapons directly at his young wife, who was holding his three-month-old baby daughter,’ Guo’s lawyers wrote in a lawsuit against a purported fellow dissident he accused of defamation. ‘His younger brother…tried to protect Guo’s wife and daughter and was shot twice in the altercation.’
‘That was when I started my plan,’ the billionaire told the New York Times Magazine in 2018. ‘If your brother had been killed in front of your eyes, would you just forget it?’
But the answer to that question is one of the mysteries surrounding Guo: he continued to amass his fortune after his brother took a bullet for him yet did not make a public stand until 28 years later.
The real estate tycoon has made some provably false claims, including telling news site Vice that he paid $82 million for his New York apartment, and others that are harder to prove, such as a bold claim that he never wears the same pair of underwear twice.
Among his criticism of the communist party, he has claimed that Chinese officials sabotaged Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014 en route to Beijing, in order to cover up an organ-harvesting scheme.
His attacks have drawn the ire of Chinese officials, who have arrested people for chatting about Guo online and distributing t-shirts emblazoned with his slogan ‘This is only the beginning!’
A Stanford Internet Observatory analysis of tens of thousands of Chinese stooge accounts that were deleted by Twitter in June found that one of the four main themes in their tweets were attacks on Guo and his work with Bannon.
The country has issued warrants for Guo’s arrest on charges of corruption, bribery and rape, and has asked Interpol to issue a red notice calling for his arrest and extradition.
In 2017, Chinese officials reportedly almost succeeded in persuading Trump to allow Guo to be extradited and were only stopped when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to resign.
Meanwhile, the FBI reportedly tried – unsuccessfully – to recruit Guo as an informant.
WHO’S WHO IN TANGLED WEB OF CHINESE LINKS TO HUNTER’S LAPTOP
Named in original New York Post story as the person who told paper about Hunter’s hard drive in ‘late September.’ The former Trump aide had spent the summer on the superyacht of exiled – and fugitive – Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. Bannon was arrested aboard on fraud charges in August. He has been advising Guo since 2018 and now runs a ‘war room’ podcast on which Guo has appeared
Became a billionaire in China, apparently through real estate, but fled in 2014 claiming senior Communist officials were targeting him because he was a threat to them. 50-year-old is wanted in China for fraud, but has also faced claims he is a Chinese double agent. In June he and Bannon declared the New Federal State of China, backed by what he says is $100m of his cash, to overthrow Communism. Guo funds media outlet GNews to amplify attacks on Communist leaders. Linked outlets include Voice of Guo, Himalaya Global and Chinese-language Ding Gang. Smoked cigars with Rudy Giuliani on the same day the president’s personal attorney gave the Hunter hard drive to the New York Post
Group which amplifies Guo’s New Federal State of China, with presence in Australia and Canada as well as U.S. On Septembner 28, it tweeted translation of Ding Gang’s claims that the Chinese Communist Party (CCCP) had three of Hunter’s laptops and they would cause a ‘big money and sex scandal.’ That was 12 days before Rudy Giuliani gave it to the New York Post
Chinese-language channel linked to Guo which uses the name of a senior Communist official to spread anti-Communist material and which first made the claim that disks from Hunter’s laptop would cause a scandal
Central Chinese Communist Party Guo’s sworn enemy who he wants to see removed as country’s rulers. The Hunter emails do not directly link him to known party members, although becoming rich in China without being a member is difficult. Bannon and Guo have used their podcast and online channels to claim it created the coronavirus as a bio weapon
One company is convinced, however, that despite his public criticism and the Chinese government’s pursuit of him, Guo is in fact a communist party spy.
Virginia-based research firm Strategic Vision claimed in federal court documents that Guo tried to hire it in 2018 to investigate several Chinese nationals he said had links to the Party.
The court filing claims that when the firm investigated the first 15 people it found they were all ‘Records Protected’ individuals, meaning information held about them in federal databases was secret – often a tell-tale sign of a foreigner helping the US government.
‘Guo never intended to use the fruits of Strategic Vision’s research against the Chinese Communist Party,’ the company said in their legal documents. ‘That is because Guo was not the dissident he claimed to be. Instead, Guo Wengui was, and is, a dissident-hunter, propagandist, and agent in the service of the People’s Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party.’
The research firm, owned by the widow of a late Wyoming Senator, also claimed in their court filing that Guo and Bannon discussed ways to give ‘large amounts’ of cash to conservative Washington think tank the Center for Security Policy and a group it backs called the Committee on the Present Danger: China.
Exemplifying the mercurial world of international espionage, the filing claimed the push to support groups favoring a hawkish stance on China was in fact evidence Guo was working for the Chinese Communist Party.
Brian Kennedy, chairman of the China Committee, has previously told the Wall Street Journal that Guo didn’t offer any donation to his group.
The billionaire has also boasted of amassing a $150 million ‘war chest’ for fighting legal battles – and has shown he is unafraid of suing even his fellow dissidents.
Self-described Chinese democracy activist Hongkuan Li wrote social media posts labelling Guo a ‘gangster’ who was ‘suffering from schizophrenia,’ a ‘communist spy puppy,’ and ‘a rapist’ – a reference to a former female employee of Guo who alleges he repeatedly raped her.
Guo has denied all the accusations and sued Li for defamation.
In his lawsuit, Guo’s lawyers wrote the real estate billionaire ‘is a pioneer of using YouTube and Twitter to fight for the rule of law, human rights, freedom and democracy in China.’
‘Guo has exposed widespread corruption in the Chinese Communist Party (‘CCP’), multiple senior officials of the Chinese Government, and their family members,’ his legal documents said.
Guo is reportedly facing his own investigation over his business dealings with Bannon – unconnected to the former presidential advisor’s alleged $25 million charity fraud.
The FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General have spent more than six months probing whether a company linked to Guo broke securities laws while raising $300 million earlier this year, law enforcement sources told NBC.
Investors complained of wiring as much as $50,000 for shares in Guo’s GTV Media Group, but allegedly received nothing in return.
The company claimed its directors have included hedge-fund manager and China critic Kyle Bass who has since resigned, Texas venture capitalist Darren Blanton, John A. Morgan, the son of Morgan Stanley’s co-founder, and Bannon.
‘The FBI has never reached out to Mr. Guo or his colleagues about any of these matters,’ the real-estate tycoon’s lawyer said in a statement to the Journal.
‘Mr. Guo is honored to have the freedom in the United States working alongside others to eliminate the Chinese Communist Party and free his fellow countrymen in China.’
Bannon’s spokesperson told the paper: ‘Neither Steve or any of his affiliates have been contacted by the FBI about anything, let alone this matter.’
Despite the billionaire’s life resembling the mystery and intrigue of a spy film, Guo told the Times Magazine in 2018 that he sees himself on the right side in a clear-cut world of good guys and bad guys that closer matches an action romp.
‘Like in an American movie, in the last minutes, we will save the world,’ he said.
HOW HUNTER’S EMAILS EXPLODED AS TWO WORLDS COLLIDED
January 2009: Hunter Biden (right) quits lobbying because his father has become vice president, and sets up investment and advisory firm firm Rosemont Seneca with friends Christopher Heinz – John Kerry’s stepson – and Devon Archer (left), a former Kerry aide
July 2010: Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, who owns its biggest natural gas company Burisma joins the government of its president Viktor Yanukovych
February 2014: Yanukovych is deposed in a revolution which claims scores of lives and Burisma Zlochevsky is thrown out of government too
April 16: Burisma is secretly accused of money-laundering by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. On the same day Archer meets Joe Biden at the White House. Six days later Archer joins the board of Burisma
April 28: Britain’s Serious Fraud Office freeze $23 million of Burisma’s cash, every dollar which exists in the UK’s banking system
May 12: Hunter joins the board of Burisma to improve ‘corporate governance.’ Hunter’s salary is later revealed to be $50,000-a-month. Burisma board advisor Vadym Pozharskyi who had met Hunter in Lake Como, Italy, days earlier, emails him asking to ‘use his influence’ to stop prosecutions. During the summer, the new prosecutor-general of Ukraine opens an investigation into Burisma
February 2015: Senior diplomat George Kent, on temporary assignment to Kyiv, learns of Hunter’s role. He phones a staffer at Biden’s office to it could ‘create perception of a conflict of interest.’ That month Viktor Shokin takes office as Ukraine’s prosecutor general, despite already being the subject of questions about his own links to corruption
April 17: Email from Hunter’s laptop shows Pozharskyi writing Hunter: ‘thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent some together.’
Summer: The Burisma investigation appears to become dormant
January 2016: Biden travels to Ukraine amid mounting international disgust at Shokin failing to tackle corruption. One of the concerns raised by the European Union and IMF is that he has failed to investigate Burisma. Biden tells Poroshenko he needs to go. He later boasts: ‘I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.’ Shokin in fact is finally removed from office in March after internal turmoil in Kyiv
2018: Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani starts ‘investigating’ the Bidens’ links to Ukraine, enlisting the help of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who are now indicted on fraud charges. Ukraine’s latest prosecutor general announces he will investigate Burisma early the next year
April 12, 2019: Hunter – or a man saying he is Hunter – takes three damaged Macs to John Paul MacIsaac’s Apple repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware. MacIsaac puts data from one on a new hard drive
April 25: Joe Biden announces presidential run
July 11: The laptops have not been picked up and are now considered ‘abandoned’ according to MacIsaac’s terms and conditions
Summer: MacIsaac claims he becomes worried about what he has seen on the laptop whose contents he put on a disk, and thinks he might be killed by a Biden associate for having it in his shop
Fall: MacIsaac either contacts the FBI or is contacted by them; he has said both
December 9 or 19: The FBI pick up the laptop, but MacIsaac has made a copy for himself. Giuliani later says the shopowner has made four. They give him a grand jury subpoena to hand it over, even though he was going to anyway
Early January 2020: The FBI tell MacIsaac not to talk to anyone and to stall if a Biden representative comes to get the laptop back
February: Trump is acquitted at end of his impeachment trial
May: On Giuliani’s account, MacIsaac hands over the hard drive to Robert Costello, Giuliani’s attorney, by this month at the latest as well as trying to give it to other Republicans
September: Steve Bannon, Trump’s ex-aide and now indicted on fraud charges, tells New York Post about existence of laptop
September 28: Bannon boasts to a Dutch TV interviewer ‘I have Hunter’s hard drive’
October 11: Giuliani gives Post the hard drive
October 14: Post publishes emails and partially-clothed pictures of Hunter from the laptop – one of them with an apparent crack pipe – and says it has an 11-minute sex-and-drugs video. Giuliani promises there is ‘more to come,’ Republican senators promise to investigate but Democrats say the former New York mayor has ‘paraded with Russian agents’