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Mystery Property Tycoon Makes $533 Million Bet on Solar

A Hong Kong real-estate tycoon has spent the past year accumulating stakes in failing solar companies, piecing together what may become the biggest collection of photovoltaic factories in the world.

Zheng Jianming, also known in Cantonese as Cheng Kin Ming, has spent or pledged about $533 million to buy assets that at their peak were worth almost $20 billion, according to regulatory filings in the U.S. and Hong Kong, where he has a home and office.