It has all the makings of a John le Carre thriller: a Chinese billionaire snatched from a luxury Hong Kong hotel amid a swirl of international intrigue, shadowy financial dealings and politicians and tycoons alike ducking for cover.

When the Xiao Jianhua story comes to the big screen, film studios can sprinkle in copious amounts of sex appeal and star power. First, there’s Xiao’s all-female bodyguard team, up to eight weaponized women per shift. Then there’s the Robert De Niro wrinkle. Xiao and the Hollywood legend are among those involved in a citizenship-by-investment scheme run by Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Not a bad place to be exiled!

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