Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption and Veng

Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption and Vengeance in Today's China

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Business in China with a power struggle involving the country’s richest businesspeople including the current President Xi Jinping.....

“Whitney told me that she’s on temporary release and could be re-detained at any time. She asked me to cancel the book’s publication,”......“It was a ridiculous request which could only be dreamed up by some bureaucrat in Beijing, where they can disappear a book off all the shelves in China overnight. But this is the rest of the world. The book was already on the way to the bookstores, contracts have been signed. I can’t disappear the book even if I wish to.” Shum, 52, says in an interview with The Australian Financial Review from his home in Oxford, England. Michael Smith, North Asia correspondent, Australian Financial Review, Sep 16, 2021

 

Chris's Review

 

This autobiography of Desmond Shum follows his birth to an out-of-favour family to great wealth via a western education and partnership with an ambitious Whitney Duan. She educated Desmond in the ways of progressing in Communist China via networking with the powerful and, in particular, the red aristocracy (the hereditary Communist ruling class). Risk taking and who you knew was all important whilst corruption was endemic. Rules and laws were deliberately vague, or offences concocted, so that anybody could be eliminated by the Communist Party when it suited them or to eliminate rivals. This was later employed with great effect by Xi Jinping, consolidating his power and allowing his rejection of western liberal attitudes and re-establishing the Party’s control.

 

Publishers Review

 

'THE BOOK CHINA DOESN'T WANT YOU TO READ' CNN In the headline-making and bestselling tradition of Bill Browder’s Red Notice comes a unique and incendiary memoir from an entrepreneur who rose to the zenith of power and money in 21st century China and whose wife was disappeared - and then mysteriously reappeared four years later on the eve of Red Roulette’s publication and global media coverage about it.

 

As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity, he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called Red Aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class.

 

Soon they were developing the massive air cargo facility at Beijing International Airport, and they followed that feat with the creation of one of Beijing’s premier hotels. They were dazzlingly successful, travelling in private jets, funding multi-million-dollar buildings and endowments, and purchasing expensive homes, vehicles and art. But in 2017, their fates diverged irrevocably when Desmond, while living overseas with his son, learned that his now ex-wife Whitney had vanished along with three co-workers. In Red Roulette Desmond Shum pulls back the curtain on China’s ruling elite and reveals the real truth of what is happening inside China’s wealth-making machine. This is both Desmond’s story and Whitney’s, because she has not been able to tell it herself.