The purchase of $85million worth of US agricultural land by a Chinese billionaire and alleged Communist Party member has sparked outcry among lawmakers after it went largely unreported for eight years.

It emerged earlier this week that California-based online gaming pioneer Chen Tianqiao owns 198,000 acres of Oregon timberland, making him the second largest foreign owner of American land.

The sale went through in 2015, but only became widespread knowledge on Monday after Oregon tax records unveiled one of Chen’s companies as the beneficial owner.

The 50-year-old is a member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has held executive roles in CCP-affiliated organizations and is an admirer of Chairman Mao, according to multiple Chinese media reports.

He also owns a $39million Manhattan mansion and a $25million Los Angeles estate, while his Oregon land grab makes him the largest Chinese owner of US real estate.