SANTA CRUZ, Calif.
— A California hedge fund billionaire who helped orchestrate a $1 billion sale of a purple heart, plants for sale and a golf course to the Chinese conglomerate Baidu, was arrested in Beijing on Monday.
The man was arrested by police and was expected to be released soon, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department said.
Police say the man, who was not identified by police, bought the plants in March from a Baiduu wholesaler in the central Chinese city of Dalian.
The company was planning to turn them into a food product.
The company is one of China’s biggest food manufacturers, with more than 30 brands in the country.
In February, the company agreed to buy two of the plants from a Hong Kong-based Chinese company, Chinese state media reported.
The government said that it has suspended any further sales of the two plants and will investigate the transaction.
Baidu’s U.S. business has grown sharply in recent years, especially after the government introduced restrictions on Internet and mobile phone use in 2016, limiting access to social media and other media and tightening restrictions on travel.
The U.K.-based firm said in November that it was seeking approval from the Chinese government to open a new plant in California.