Insurance giant Ping An is reportedly looking to acquire Huaxia Life, the life insurance company indirectly controlled by missing financier Jianhua Xiao.
Huaxia says it has CNY500bn (£56bn, $71bn, €62bn) in assets with half a million employees in its 24 branches across China.
According to local newspaper South China Morning Post, talks of the sale have been going on for several months and they mark China’s latest attempt at breaking up Xiao’s financial empire.
The acquisition cost was not disclosed and both Ping An and Huaxia Life decline to comment “on rumours”.
Xiao is a Chinese-Canadian businessman who was known for managing assets for the descendants of prominent Chinese leaders.
He was abducted to mainland China in 2017, but order for his detention were issued in 2013.
He fled to Hong Kong, but was allegedly abducted from his hotel in the special administrative region by Chinese security officers during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
No formal announcement was made by the government about his detention, but reports indicate that he was connected to many relatives of party leaders and officials.
SCMP reported in 2018 that Xiao was going to be brought to trial for crimes including market manipulation and bribes.