Was billionaire Xiao Jianhua abducted or did he return to the mainland voluntarily? Many people have already jumped to conclusions. Some are comparing his disappearance to that of five Hong Kong booksellers last year, who reappeared across the border "to assist in investigations" while claiming to have done so voluntarily.
It's understandable that Xiao's case has attracted international attention. He is one of China's richest people. If his abduction theory holds, it means no one in Hong Kong is safe from the long arm of Chinese law. But new reports about the case seem to indicate he went back to the mainland voluntarily.
Police said CCTV footage showed Xiao and two of his female bodyguards left the Four Seasons Hotel in Central on their own, without any sign of struggle. Citing unnamed sources, a Ming Pao report claimed the trio were seen travelling in a car across the border at the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint with no one else inside. Of course, it all depends on who you believe.
According to the anti-communist Apple Daily, mainland agents hired local triads to abduct Xiao. Some overseas newspapers reported that the agents themselves jumped an entourage of female bodyguards at the hotel to get their man.