These days in China, the disappearance of a senior Communist Party cadre barely raises an eyebrow.
Talk that China's insurance regulator Xiang Junbo may be under investigation is, however, different.
It's not only because he decides who gets to sell life insurance in China – the most juicy business in the country – but also because of the deep involvement of political heavyweights in the industry.
The rumour, which appeared on Friday in Ming Jing News – a Chinese-language magazine and website that trades in salacious gossip and rumours about Communist Party cadres – has not received official comment by the insurance regulator. Questions faxed to the regulator's Beijing office have received no reply.
Xiang has not appeared in public since the annual insurance conference in mid January where he pledged to rein in the wild behaviour of China's insurance money.
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With the blessing of former premier Wen Jiabao, the ex-auditor and central banker landed the top job at the China Insurance Regulatory Commission in 2011.
He is in charge of granting life insurance licences, or virtual cash machines, or money printers as insiders call them.
In the first 11 months of 2016, China's life insurers sucked in more than 1.1 trillion yuan of insurance premium, with investment schemes containing minimal insurance elements.
That is growth of 2.7 times from the 2013 record, while the premiums collected from old-fashioned insurance policies only doubled to two trillion yuan.
Front line salespeople typically promise their policyholders a guaranteed rate of return of over 6 per cent, double the prevailing bank deposit rate. Insurance companies are taking deposits from the public, without submitting to the regulatory restrictions and operating costs of a bank.