Saturday, June 12

A Chinese Billionaire Is Barred From Spending Over Unpaid Debts

No first-class flights. No vacations. No high-speed rail tickets or lavish weekends at the golf course.

A Chinese court this week barred Chen Feng, the chairman and co-founder of the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, from making big purchases after the company failed to pay money it owed in two legal settlements, a humbling turn of events for what was once one of the country’s biggest and most acquisitive business empires.

China has for years used spending restrictions as a way to enforce debts and discourage irresponsible borrowing. It has even made information about defaulters publicly searchable online, as a sort of blacklist of those who are prohibited from splashing out on travel, real estate and expensive private schools for their children.

An HNA representative did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Chen, who is in his mid-60s, helped transform a Chinese regional airline based on the island province of Hainan into a global corporate behemoth. HNA took stakes in companies including Hilton Hotels, Deutsche Bank and Virgin Australia. It bought up trophy properties and golf courses. Mr. Chen and his brother each purchased an entire floor at One57, an ultra-luxurious Manhattan residential tower.

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