One of China's richest tycoons, the chairman of drinks company Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co Ltd, was attacked near his home in the eastern province of Zhejiang, Xinhua reported on Wednesday. Other media reports said he suffered serious injuries to his hand.
Zong Qinghou, 67, was assaulted on Friday morning in a residential area of Hangzhou city and a suspect was arrested, the official news agency reported, citing police. The suspect had been looking for work and the attack came after he failed to get a job with Wahaha, Xinhua reported.
A spokesperson for privately held Wahaha, the country's largest beverage company, told Reuters he had nothing to add to the Xinhua report.
Zong is China's second-richest man with a personal fortune of 115 billion yuan ($18.8 billion), according to the China Rich List published annually by Hurun Report Inc.
Xinhua quoted Zong, who reportedly did not travel with bodyguards, as telling a reporter the attack was merely an accident.
The Shenzhen-based Hong Kong Commercial Daily said earlier on Wednesday that four tendons on Zong's left hand had been severed during the attack and he had been operated on at a hospital in Hangzhou.
The Wahaha Group started from a humble factory affiliated with a primary school in 1987 and grew into one of the top 500 private enterprises in China, according to Xinhua.
As the largest beverage enterprise in China, the group's revenue in 2012 reached 63.63 billion yuan. It employs 30,000 people and has 32 billion yuan in fixed assets.