Before he disappeared, a Hong Kong bookseller had asked another man to take over his Causeway Bay Books shop for six months.
Lee Bo, or Lee Po as he is known on the mainland, has been missing from Hong Kong since December last year. In October, four of his colleagues had mysteriously disappeared, in a case that has shaken Hong Kong's confidence in Beijing.
Woo Chih-wai, 75, who worked at the book shop until his five associates vanished last year, says the man had been acting strangely on the day Lee disappeared.
Woo said Chan had seldom come to the bookstore, and when he did he had not stayed very long. But on December 30, Chan arrived at the store around 2pm, and asked Woo for advice on how to make the store profitable. He told Woo that he would like to have dinner with both him and Lee that night.
Lee went missing later that day, and the dinner never took place.
On that day, Lee's his wife Sophie Choi Ka-ping called Woo at around 7.30pm and said that she could not find her husband.
Soon afterwards, Chan told Woo:“Looks like dinner won’t happen tonight. We’ll do it another day.”
A day later, Chan told Woo: “This is a serious matter. The store won’t be operating any longer.”
Chan has appeared at the bookstore since Lee’s disappearance but has declined to answer reporters’ questions.
Lee is in the mainland assisting with an investigation involving his publishing associate Gui Minhai, who was accused of ordering his associates to deliver about 4,000 books across the border since October 2014.