A Chinese businessman’s claim of buying Atlantic Bank in Delaware --- where there was no such financial institution --- points out that business news out of China has to be verified before hitting print or going airborne, reminds Grumpy Editor.
With China’s rising economic power, such announcements don’t raise too many eyebrows these days.
However, with Chinese acquisitions mounting in North America, major media should be devoting a chunk of time on fact checking --- as they should with other announcements.
Chinese businessman Lin Chunping grabbed attention in January when he announced the purchase of “Atlantic Bank” in Delaware for $60 million.
Lin told media the 85-year-old U.S. bank went bankrupt in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis and that he planned to rename it the (mouthful) USA New HSBC Federation Consortium Inc.
Media in China called his business experience "legendary."
His hometown, Wenzhou in east China’s Zhejiang province, gave him a prestigious municipal-level political appointment.
Later, it was found that there was no Atlantic Bank in Delaware.
Lin, 41, a rice trader, was arrested earlier this month but for an unrelated fraud.
With that action, he was forced to give up his appointment to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a top advisory body.
And Atlantic Bank in Delaware remains a dream that some say underscores the fakery --- from iPhones to fancy bags --- coming out of China.