Chinese Billionare Activist Arrested

Significant advocate of human rights in the country


BEIJING — A Chinese billionaire venture capitalist who has strongly advocated more liberal political and social policies was detained Friday by Beijing police officers, friends of the businessman said.

The businessman, Wang Gongquan, 51, is a close friend of Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer who was formally arrested last month on a charge of "assembling a crowd to disrupt order in a public place." Mr. Wang was detained on the same charge, according to a photograph of the warrant that circulated online on Friday. The warrant indicated Mr. Wang had been detained by officers from the traffic safety bureau of the Beijing Police Department.

Mr. Wang was taken from his home by more than 20 police officers around 11:30 a.m., said Chen Min, another well-known rights advocate, who goes by the penname Xiao Shu. The police searched Mr. Wang's home for more than two hours and took away a computer, two framed pictures and small "citizen pins" that Mr. Wang presumably had made at some point, Mr. Chen said.