Red roulette: an insider’s story of wealth, power, corruption and vengeance in today’s china
A unique and incendiary memoir from an entrepreneur who rose to the highest realms of power and money in China and whose wife was disappeared, Red Roulette reveals the truth of what is really happening inside the country’s wealth-making machine.
After the 1949 Communist revolution, Desmond Shum’s grandfather was marked as belonging to a despised ‘black category’ meaning the Shums would be stigmatised and impoverished. As Desmond was growing up, he vowed that his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity, Shum earned a degree from an American university and returned to China to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan. Aided by relationships they formed with top members of the red aristocracy, they vaulted into China’s billionaire class.
Soon they were developing the massive air cargo facility at Beijing International Airport, and then created one of Beijing’s premier hotels. They were dazzlingly successful, travelling in private jets, funding multimillion-dollar buildings and endowments, and purchasing expensive homes, vehicles and art. But in 2017, their fates diverged irrevocably when Desmond, while living overseas with his son, learned that his now ex-wife Whitney had vanished, along with three co-workers. This is both Desmond’s story and Whitney’s, because she cannot tell it herself.