Anbang Insurance Group chairman Wu XiaohuiImage copyright Anbang Insurance Group
Image caption Wu Xiaohui is considered one of China's most politically connected men

The head of Chinese insurance and financial giant Anbang, will face prosecution for "economic crimes", China's insurance regulator said.

Wu Xiaohui, who has been removed from his post, was detained by authorities last June.

In an unusual move, Anbang Insurance Group will now be taken over by China's insurance regulator for one year.

The firm is known for its aggressive international acquisitions, including New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Chinese authorities have been cracking down on the financial industry to guard against excessive borrowing and risk.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Anbang bought the Waldorf-Astoria for close to $2bn

Politically connected

Anbang, which started out as a car insurance firm with state-owned backers, is recognised as one of China's richest and most opaque conglomerates.

In addition to selling insurance products, it owns a portfolio of international properties and global brands.

Mr Wu, who married the grand-daughter of former leader, Deng Xiaoping, is one of the most politically-connected men in China.

After his detention last year, the company said in a statement that his duties as chairman would be managed by other senior executives.

On Friday, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said he had been removed from his position altogether.

The government regulator said Anbang's business would continue and that its external liabilities would not be affected.

It said the company's current operations remained stable but that illegal operations may "seriously endanger" its solvency abilities.

It said its actions were aimed at keeping the firm operating as usual and to protect the rights and interests of consumers.

Last year, a company owned by the family of US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, ended talks with Anbang over a major redevelopment project in New York City.

The potential deal had raised questions about a conflict of interest, given Mr Kushner's role at the White House.