Husband of scandal-hit Chinese actress Zhao Wei transfers ownership of vineyards and companies to a 21-year-old man with the same surname, Huang

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11th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) Zhao Wei also known as Vicky Zhao or Vicki Zhao, is a Chinese actress, businesswoman, film director, producer and pop singer. She is considered one of the most popular actresses in China and Chinese-speaking regions, and one of the highest paid actresses as well.

On 27th August 2021, all films and television dramas featuring Zhao disappeared from Chinese video streaming services like Tencent Video and iQiyi, and her Weibo Super Talk was deleted (while the Weibo accounts of her own and her studio remain normal). No explanation was given by the Chinese government, however she is only one of many other Chinese entertainers who have run afoul of a sudden wave of new government policies that are currently upending Chinese life — Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s “Common Prosperity” campaign.

On 28th August 2021, Zhao was reported to have left China for France, reportedly being spotted at an airport in Bordeaux that day. In a now-deleted Instagram post from 29th August, Zhao claimed she was in Beijing, denying that she was in France.

According to report by local media HK01, Her husband, a Singaporean businessman Huang Youlong, was being pursued after a debt of nearly HK$600 million, and the whereabouts of the couple became a mystery. Huang reportedly owns four French vineyards. He resigned as the persons in charge of two vineyards and two companies holding shares in the vineyards in January this year. It was suspected that the vineyards would be managed by a proxy. The proxy who took over the business is also surnamed Huang. His identity was unknown and he is only in his early 20s. He reportedly lives in the duplex unit worth HK$100 million at The Westminster Terrace in Tsuen Wan. The property was previously owned by the couple and it changed hands last year.

Huang’s CG Pay Hong Kong Limited submitted an application for de-registration to the Companies Registry at the end of December last year. Another company, Live Energy Group Limited, was also dissolved in February this year. At the same time, Huang also resigned from the French vineyard. Huang Youlong and Zhao Wei bought four vineyards in France in their early years. The most well-known of them is Château Monlot in Bordeaux, France, which they bought for about HK$40 million in 2011. In the following year, Huang registered a Chateau Monlot Hospitality Group Limited with the same name as the vineyard in Hong Kong and served as a director. However, the company applied for de-registration at the end of December last year.

According to the French company registration record, Huang transferred all the shares of Chateau Menglong he indirectly held to the French company New Star in May last year. In January of this year, Huang resigned as the manager (gérant) of Chateau Menglong and Château La Vue, and instead appointed Huang Mingzheng, the representative of New Star. The manager of a French company is legally responsible for the company and functions like a legal representative. In the past, Zhao Wei also served as the manager of the winery, until December 2020, she resigned, and Huang took over the post.

In January of this year, registration records showed that both vineyards were held by Huang and Zhao Wei, with Huang indirectly holding 30% of the shares and Zhao Wei indirectly holding 70%. By May, the beneficiary (Bénéficiaire effectif) on the registration record of Château Monlot had changed to Huang Mingzheng, but the vineyard’s official website still showed that Zhao Wei was the owner of the vineyard. The company that took over the vineyard, New Star, was originally wholly-owned by Huang Youlong, but he also resigned as chairman of the company in January and was replaced by Huang Mingzheng. There is no document showing whether Huang Youlong still holds shares.

The company website still shows Zhao Wei as the owner.

In addition, Huang Youlong and Zhao Wei set up a French company, Bordeaux Vineyard & Wine Investments, to hold shares in several vineyards. Huang Youlong resigned as chairman of the company in January this year, while Huang Mingzheng took over as a representative of a Luxembourg company held by a Cayman Islands company and took over 30% of the shares originally held by Huang Youlong. Zhao Wei has signed a document to appoint Huang Mingzheng, and her 70% shareholding in the Hong Kong company will remain unchanged. In the registration, Huang Mingzheng reported to live in the high-rise unit of the The Westminster Terrace  in Tsuen Wan. The unit is a duplex unit, which was purchased by Huang Youlong in 2012 for HK$72 million in the name of “Wei Xin International Investment Co., Ltd.”

Huang Mingzheng is 21 years old this year, born in Guangdong, holding a Hong Kong identity card, and took over Huang Youlong’s position in the Hong Kong companies in the past.

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