An auction house in the southeastern port city of Xiamen aims to sell an almost completed five-star hotel belonging to alleged smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing today, but buyers could be thin on the ground. The China Business Times reported yesterday that Xiamen International Commodities Auction had received dozens of inquiries from Beijing, Fujian and Hong Kong about the Yuan Hua International Hotel, with 750,000 square metres of floor space and a starting price of 168 million yuan (about HK$157.4 million). However, not a single company had registered as a buyer. Some fear the building will suffer the same fate as the Guangzhou headquarters of Guangdong International Trust and Investment Co, which has failed to attract a bid at two auctions. The hotel comprises three buildings, of six, 21 and 28 storeys, with completed structures and half-finished exteriors. The buyer would have to complete the outside decoration and all the interiors. On July 22, Xiamen Zhong Zheng will auction 33,233 square metres of empty land also belonging to Lai and his Yuan Hua company, with a starting price of 60 million yuan and land-use rights of 70 years. The land is on a prime site on the eastern shore of Xiamen, facing the Taiwan-held island of Jinmen. Lai planned to turn the site into an area of expensive villas, with a lake and exhibition centre. A spokesman for Zhong Zheng said there had been many inquiries for the land but that it was hard to say how many people would actually bid.