The company issued a statement denying the accusations raised in the asylum appeal. Mr. Xiang, in an email, claimed he did not know the would-be defector. But Wang Ting-yu, the lawmaker in Taiwan, said that investigators in fact had a photograph of the couple with their employee, Wang Liqiang, undercutting that denial. Taiwan’s investigative bureau declined to comment on the case.
Since the accusations emerged, the company, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but incorporated in the Cayman Islands, stopped responding to requests for comment as new details emerged. The company’s two independent directors resigned, according to a shareholder notice issued on Nov. 27.
Another company cited in the allegations is China Trends Holdings, which in 2010 signed a memorandum of understanding with a major Chinese defense manufacturer, China North Industries Group Corporation, or Norinco, Reuters reported last month.
The biography of Mr. Xiang’s wife, Gong Qing, includes positions at two institutions linked to the Communist government, including the National Scientific and Technology Information Center, a military intelligence organization that is part of the People’s Liberation Army.
Mr. Xiang and Ms. Gong, whose surname is also rendered as Kung, appear to have invested in real estate as well, despite having been denied approval for an investment in business. They might have done so using other names or proxies, according to officials and news reports. Business Today, a Taiwanese publication, reported last week that Ms. Gong bought three luxury apartments in Taipei’s Xinyi District, one for $2.6 million in February 2017 and two neighboring apartments for $6.6 million in July that same year.
Taiwan’s investigators are also examining Mr. Wang’s claims that Mr. Xiang’s investment companies secretly funneled payments to numerous media sources, funded 20 media and internet marketing companies and created more than 200,000 false accounts on social media. He cited, among others, CTV and CTi TV, the main television channels owned by Want Want Holdings Group, a snack food company that has extensive sales in China.
A spokesman for one of the channels, CTi, said the accusations that the company received payments from China were absurd.