(NBC NEWS) BEIJING – In a crackdown on dissent ahead of a crucial Communist Party gathering next month, Chinese authorities on Sunday formally arrested a billionaire venture capitalist who has turned his wealth toward supporting human rights issues.

The detention of Wang Gongquan, who was held on suspicion of disturbing public order, sends a strong signal that China’s new leadership will not tolerate any member of the rising entrepreneurial elite using their resources to agitate for democratic reform.

Gongquan, 52, who made a fortune from real estate and investment management, is one of the first Chinese billionaires to cross a “red line” that forbids the ascendant entrepreneurial class from challenging the Communist party’s supremacy.

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