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Huntsman daughters have role in China scandal

Published May 1, 2012 10:04 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

What do a red Ferrari, the son of a top Chinese official, and the daughters of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have in common? They all pop up in a bizarre story that's part of a fast-growing scandal in China, The New York Times reports.

According to the story that's making the rounds in China, Bo Guagua, youngest son of Chinese leader Bo Xilai, took one the Huntsman daughters on a dinner date - wearing a tuxedo and driving a red Ferrari, which are symbolic of the privilege given to children of elite Communist Party families.

The story made The Wall Street Journal in November, and was cited by Bo Xilai's political enemies when he was purged from his party posts. (He was the party chief in Chongqing, a city in western China, at the time.) It was a story that Huntsman told to Chinese diplomats when he was U.S. ambassador to China.

But, the Times reports, the details of the story aren't holding up to scrutiny. Bo Guagua denies he ever wore a tuxedo, and doesn't own a red sports car. And Abby Huntsman Livingston, who attended a dinner with Bo Guagua along with her sister, Mary Anne Huntsman, now says Mary Anne "is not completely knowledgeable about cars" and may have been incorrect in identifying the car as a Ferrari.