Insurance conglomerate Anbang has said it will take legal action against Chinese financial magazine Caixin and its editor-in-chief, Hu Shuli.

In a statement on Sunday, Anbang said Caixin ran a ­series of reports that “resulted in severe damages” to the reputation and rights of the insurance company and its chairman, Wu Xiaohui.

“Anbang Insurance Group has decided to bring a suit against Caixin Media and its editor Hu Shuli, to defend the legitimate rights of our company and Mr Wu,” the statement said.

Caixin could not be reached for comment.

Anbang previously issued two statements regarding “untrue” ­reports. In the first, Anbang said it did not have a cash shortage problem or any loans from China ­Minsheng Bank, a lender in which Anbang had a 15.54 per cent equity stake at the end of last year.

Another statement said the company noticed untrue information circulating on the internet, and would seek legal means to defend its reputation.

On Friday, Caixin said Anbang had violated regulations and lacked transparency, and its shareholder structure could be traced to 86 individuals.

Anbang’s ownership and rapid expansion have been under scrutiny before.

The New York Times reported last year that the company’s ­owners included many family members and acquaintances of Wu who married into the family of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping.

In an interview with The Beijing News on Wednesday, Wu said his company would closely follow China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”. He also said Anbang would focus on investing in the medical and elderly care sectors.

Wu was quoted as saying that he hoped the investment would create more job opportunities, and help the company meet its social responsibilities.

Staff Reporter of SCMP

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