Sun Hung Kai Properties , with an eye on expansion in the Greater Bay Area , has appointed Wu Xiangdong, a former executive director of state-owned developer China Resources Land, to its board effective September 1. The company, Hong Kong’s largest developer by market value, said Wu, 52, had been appointed as an independent non-executive director. He is widely expected to leverage his expertise of working in China to speed up its property projects on the mainland. “It is a clever move, as SHKP needs an expert with a strong background in commercial properties to speed up its expansion in the Greater Bay Area,” said Louis Tse Ming-kwong, managing director of brokerage VC Asset Management. The Greater Bay Area refers to the Chinese government’s plan to link the cities of Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing into an integrated economic and business hub. An independent non-executive director provides creative contribution to the board through independent oversight and constructive views, Tse said. “But you never know. Wu may be promoted as executive director, if he proves his worth.” It is an unwritten rule that all senior executives at state-owned enterprises should be members of the Communist Party. Wu will be the first mainland Chinese as well as Communist Party member to serve on SHKP’s board. He holds a double bachelor’s degree in construction management and engineering mechanics, as well as a master’s degree in municipal engineering, from Tsinghua University, as well as an MBA from the University of San Francisco. Wu was executive director of China Resources Land, the property flagship of China Resources Group, between June 2009 and February this year. He has also served as executive vice-president, managing director and chairman of the board of directors during his time at China Resources Land. With more than 26 years of experience in corporate management and commercial property operations, Wu is known for developing The MixC mall, the largest commercial project in Shenzhen, which opened in 2004. Last year, the mall contributed an annual rental income of 1 billion yuan (US$139.8 million), according to China Resources Land’s annual report. Sun Hung Kai has invested up to 30 billion yuan in 10 Greater Bay Area projects SHKP is headed by executive director Adam Kwok Kai-fai, son of former co-chairman Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong, in the Greater Bay Area. It said in April it had already invested up to 30 billion yuan in 10 real estate projects in the region. A fifth of that budget will be spent on the company’s first commercial project in Guangzhou city’s Nanshan district, which will feature two office towers with an area of 2.36 million sq ft, and a shopping centre with an area of 860,000 sq ft. Wu is currently co-chairman, chief executive and president of China Fortune Land Development.