The billionaire hedge fund manager dubbed "China's Carl Icahn" went on trial on Monday, a year after his dramatic arrest on the Hangzhou Bay Bridge in the aftermath of a stock market rout.
The trial of legendary investor Xu Xiang, 38, in the Qingdao Intermediate People's Court in Shandong province was closed to all but selected state media. No immediate statement was issued after the hearing.
State-run Xinhua reported earlier that Xu was detained for "obtaining stock market inside information by illegal means, inside trading and manipulating stock prices".
No further details of the charges were given.
Xu allegedly reaped billions of yuan illegally during last year's stock market turmoil, mainland media reported.
Photographs of his arrest on the bridge were the only known publicly available pictures of the famously low-profile financier at the time.
But even if Xu were found guilty of the charges, the conviction would do little to purge the system of rampant insider trading and market manipulation in its stock market, an analyst said.
"Xu's case is just the tip of the iceberg – there is a sophisticated network of interests behind it," Qingdao University economics professor Yi Xianrong said.