26 Nov 2010

Australian businessman arrested in China

12:46 pm on 26 November 2010

An Australian businessman has been arrested by Chinese police in the southern city of Guangzhou.

It is not known precisely when he was taken into custody or the exact nature of the accusations against him.

According to a statement on his company's website, Matthew Ng has been detained as part of a Chinese police inquiry into misappropriation of company assets.

Until his arrest, Mr Ng, 44, was chief executive officer of et-China, which offers travel services including inbound Chinese tourism to Australia. The company has deep partnerships with a number of Chinese-government owned enterprises.

Acting chief executive Chris Rose says Mr Ng has the board's support and looks forward to him returning to his duties.

The ABC reports Mr Ng has now been in prison for more than a week.

The consulate-general in Guangzhou is providing assistance to his family in China.

NZ degrees

Mr Ng holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales and two degrees from the University of Auckland.

According to the company's website, Mr Ng founded the company in 2000 after working as an investment banker in Australia, New Zealand, and South-East Asia.

He recently won an AusTrade prize for entrepreneurship following the company's rapid growth.

His incarceration comes nine months after former Rio Tinto executive and Australian iron ore salesmen Stern Hu was sentenced to 11 years in prison.