Ronnie Chan's long route 66 to success in Shanghai A year after Hang Lung Group chairman Ronnie Chan Chichung took over the reins from his father in 1992, he made a big push to purchase land in Shanghai and envisioned turning it into a modern business complex. But it was not until last year that the project at Nanjing Xi Lu was completed. The 66-storey office and shopping mall, named Plaza 66, is now the home for luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tiffany. What now appears like a success story was not arrived at easily. 'People wondered if I was out of my mind,' Mr Chan told his group's new magazine, not surprisingly named 66. 'I had the biggest parcel of land in Shanghai and wanted to build grade A offices at a time when no one could be certain there was a market for them. 'My answer now, as it was then, is that the market is only so-so at the moment, but look at our projects in Shanghai now. The results are far better than we ever expected.' If there was a lesson drawn, Mr Chan said we shouldn't assess 'big Shanghai' with a 'small Hong Kong mentality' because Shanghai was an economic powerhouse and the government was determined to make it a showcase. Hang Lung hopes to replicate this model in at least 12 cities, taking a long march to Tianjin, Shenyang, Jinan, Wuxi and Changsha. The mainland property boom has fuelled a share-price run for Hang Lung with the stock rising from HK$13 to more than HK$30 in the past two years. Now, other developers are scrambling to invest in the mainland. Shopping mall operators Parkson Group and Lifestyle International this week announced plans to invest in northern China, including Liaoning, Tianjin and Shenyang. Significant history Hang Lung is not the only developer to distribute an in-house magazine for public consumption. Sun Hung Kai Properties has printed a magazine, books4you to foster the city's reading habit. In its second issue, Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency director Alfred So Chung-keung shares the joy of reading history books such as Ray Huang's 1587: A Year of No Significance. The book explains why China went into decline during the Ming dynasty. It serves as an interesting counterpoint to the modern, rising China. Going by the book From a low-key tycoon to a high-profile stock tipster. What a big difference we see in the media coverage of Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-kee in the past 10 years. Lai See understands Mr Lee has commissioned writer Anita Leung Fung-yee, chairlady of QJY Media, to update a few chapters in his biography, not the least of which is his huge H-share portfolio and his belief in Taoism and charity. Inside a best-seller Also on the subject of books, this week we spoke with Mark Lam, who co-authored one of this year's airport best-sellers, China Now. His book offers an interesting explanation of why Lawrence Wong Chi-kwong, a Ford Motor executive who took the helm at Hong Kong Jockey Club for 10 years, was not picked to run the car business in China. For more, tune in to http://podcasting.scmp.com . Seen and heard Don't trust everything a reporter sees or hears. Sino Land general manager Ringo Chan Wing-kwong yesterday was seen submitting a document at the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corp in Fo Tan. Mr Chan stayed a while to share his views on the property market with reporters. He said Sino Land was interested in the rail company's HK$5.4 billion development in Tsuen Wan and he was representing the company to submit its bid. But reporters who thought they had a scoop were later disappointed. KCRC announced it had received only three bids, and a letter from Sino Land. Perhaps Mr Chan had forgotten that KCRC, unlike that other rail operator-cum-property developer MTR Corp, discloses bidders' names. The absence of a Sino Land bid leaves one wondering about its professed interest in the project. For the record Our tame joke yesterday about Reuters' rare outage failed to hit any funny bones at PCCW, where director of corporate communications (international) Joan Wagner fired off this response: 'Any technical problem Reuters may have had with their terminals on Wednesday was in no way related to the PCCW network, nor did PCCW receive any call from Reuters. Any suggestion that PCCW would interfere with a customer's service is irresponsible.'