For foreign businesspeople, the fate of the Englishman was discomfiting. It reminded them that even as China grew and developed, gangland habits lingered beneath the surface of Chinese commerce and politics, and occasionally burst through. A British scrap metal trader named Anil Srivastav told me about a testy negotiation he was having over a load of metals. “These people came in and dragged me out. I shouted ‘Help!’ but nobody looked,” he said. “They put me in this van and drove me off.” He was later released, but not before thinking, “I’ve only seen these things in movies.”