Hainan developer shut over graft

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2012, 12:00am


A Hainan -based property developer worth 10 billion yuan (HK$12.4 billion) has shut down amid investigations into bribery, land hoarding and illegal construction, mainland media have reported.

Several government departments are looking into Hainan Meiyuan Real Estate, China Business News reported yesterday. The revelations come more than a year after the company's billionaire founder, Wang De , was taken away by authorities for alleged bribery.

The Haikou Municipal Bureau of Land Resources said on Friday that it had reclaimed from the company 14 parcels for land, measuring more than 500,000 square metres on grounds that they were either obtained illegally or sat idle for too long.

The bureau said on its website that it decided to take ownership of one 3,000 square metre site after learning the company had obtained it in part by giving bribes.

Another 13 parcels of land were confiscated from the company and one of its subsidiaries because, the bureau said, the companies had yet to begin development two years after acquiring them.

The announcement put the company under a new spotlight more than a year after its boss, Wang, was reportedly taken away from the island province and placed under investigation for bribery at the end of 2010.

In November, the standing committee of the Hainan Provincial People's Political Consultative Conference announced that Wang had agreed to resign from his position as a delegate to the conference.

He had reportedly purchased 30 hectares of sand, 40 hectares of land and 50 hectares of water at Haikou Bay in the late 1990s and early 2000s and managed to develop 4.8 kilometers of coastline with facilities, including hotels, apartment blocks and yacht clubs.

Several of the company's latest projects are now likely to be torn down or otherwise disposed of due to their illegal operation, the China Business News said, citing several unnamed sources. It said the company faced disruption in its supply of capital and had gone out of business.

But a staff member at the company's Haikou Bay project who declined to be named told the South China Morning Post that business had remained normal. The staff member confirmed that Wang had been taken away in 2010.

Wang was implicated in a corruption case involving several officials at the Haikou City Planning Bureau.

Media reports at the time said a number of Hainan Meiyuan's projects had been given approval by the bureau after Wang gave payments to the bureau's former chief planner, Wang Xiaoshan , and its former deputy director, Yao Jiyun , between 2006 and 2008.

Both officials were imprisoned in 2009, but Wang De remained in the clear for another year. It is unclear whether he has ever been formally arrested or charged, as the authorities have not yet issued any statements regarding Wang's case.


The number of sites the Haikou land bureau reclaimed from Hainan Meiyuan•The sites amount to over 500,000 sq m