It’s tough at the top in China

Tough at the top has a whole different meaning in China.

More a matter of life and death for the estimated 60,000 billionaires (worth at least 100 million yuan) who got rich through coal, other vital resources – and probably illegal activities.

A report compiled by New Culture News in Jilin Province tracked 72 of them over the past 8 years and found 53 of them had died in tragic circumstances.

14 had been executed by the government, 15 were murdered, and 17 committed suicide. Causes of death included metal poisoning, kidnappings that went wrong, mysterious falls from high buildings and emotional disputes.

Even those who died a natural death did so at the unusually young age of 48, often of cardiovascular disease.

And the pressures may increase as reports emerge of a pending financial crisis worse than that in 2008 with an increase in bankruptcies and SMEs struggling to get loans with 60-70% forecast to close by the year end.

And we thought it was tough at the top over here.

And now another Chinese billionaire has been murdered (Times 4/1/12). This time by eating cat stew poisoned by “heartbreak grass” – usually used to commit suicide, at the Cat Meat Hot Pot City restaurant.

Corruption and unpaid debts unsurprisingly involved.

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