China Seizes Control of Anbang, Owner of New York’s Waldorf Astoria

BEIJING—The Chinese government has taken control of Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd., which owns major assets in the U.S., including the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

In a statement on the seizure, which will last for one year, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said that Anbang had violated laws and regulations that “may seriously endanger the solvency of the company” and the move was done to “maintain the normal operation of Anbang Group and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.”

Additionally, Anbang Chairman Wu Xiaohui has been removed from his post and is being prosecuted for “economic crimes.”

According to the statement, Anbang will temporarily be overseen by a group that included China’s central bank, its securities and banking regulators, the country’s foreign exchange regulator and other government agencies.

CIRC noted in its statement that the operations of the company are “generally stable” and that under the supervision of regulatory authorities, “the takeover management team will take effective measures to keep the company operating as usual and ensure that the legitimate rights and interests of consumers are fully protected and lawfully safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of all stakeholders.” It also said that the takeover will “actively introduce high-quality social capital, complete equity restructuring, to maintain the stability of the Anbang Group’s private nature.”