A company flag and the Chinese national flag fly outside the headquarters of Anbang Insurance Group in Beijing, China, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
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China took over Anbang Insurance Group for a year Friday and said its former chairman faces prosecution for "economic crimes", in the government's most drastic move yet to rein in politically connected companies whose splashy overseas investments have fuelled fears of a financial collapse.The highly unusual commandeering of Anbang signaled deep official concern over the Beijing-based company's financial situation and comes as the government looks to address spiraling debt in the world's second-largest economy.The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said Anbang, which has made a series of high-profile foreign acquisitions in recent years, had violated insurance regulations and operated in a way that may "severely" affect its solvency.Acquisitive private companies such as Anbang, HNA, Fosun and Wanda have increasingly loomed in the government's cross hairs as it conducts a sweeping crackdown on potential financial risks.Bloomberg News reported last year that Beijing had ordered Anbang to sell its overseas assets, though the company denied that at the time.
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