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2020-01-08 08:37:18

The founder of a controversial health product company has been sentenced to nine years in prison for operating a pyramid scheme, according to a court statement.

Shu Yuhui, the former chairman of Quanjian Group, was also fined 50 million yuan ($7.2 million), the Tianjin Wuqing District People’s Court announced Wednesday. Quanjian, meanwhile, was fined 100 million yuan, and 11 others from the company were sentenced to between three and six years in prison for the same offense.

Founded in 2004, Quanjian grew into a national conglomerate with a diverse portfolio, but it became mired in controversy around January 2019, when police in the northern city of Tianjin detained 18 employees on suspicion of running a pyramid scheme. A month earlier, Quanjian had been investigated for misleading advertisements that may have contributed to the death a 4-year-old girl.

Other major health product companies, too, have received unwanted attention in recent years over their dubious products and pyramid-shaped business models. Last January, authorities in the northern Hebei province probed Hualin Suanjianping Biotechnology Co. Ltd., a domestic health product company, for promoting a “pH-balancing massage therapy” that it claimed could strengthen the immune system. (Image: The Paper)