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May 10, 2013 10:28 pm
Advanced Business Park is an obscure Chinese real estate developer that appears to have only one completed project to its name – a large development on the outskirts of Beijing in the city’s least affluent district.
Xu Weiping, chairman of ABP, is a former government official whose biography suggests he worked in the same government institute at the same time as Wang Qishan, a member of the seven-person Politburo Standing Committee that effectively runs China.
Mr Xu’s development in Beijing was launched in 2003, about the same time Mr Wang was appointed mayor of the Chinese capital. On the ABP website and in Chinese media reports, Mr Xu and ABP have stressed their good relations with local governments and senior officials.
ABP also claims to have one development under construction in the city of Shenyang – advertised as the largest ever wholly foreign-owned project in northeast China – and another in the seaside city of Qingdao. While billing itself as a Chinese entity in the UK, ABP claims to be a foreign-funded joint venture between Mr Xu’s overseas company, England Dauphin International Group, and the Fengtai district government in Beijing.
Some independent media reports in China have questioned the credentials and the source of Mr Xu’s claimed foreign financial backing and asked how he was able to get such a large block of land in Beijing in 2003 without any record as a developer.
ABP yesterday declined to comment on any planned investments in the UK.
The ABP development near Beijing consists of more than 500 low-rise offices, many of which appear to be only partly occupied. An executive at ABP told the Financial Times that many of the buildings had been bought by state enterprises as capital investments when the land price was low 10 years ago but many had decided not to move in.
In one section of the development two circular glass malls sunk into the ground stand derelict and some parts of the development appear to have not been completed. In an area known as Financial Harbour two giant clocks have stopped at 7.25 and 6.30.
Mr Xu has said many times that he hoped to attract multinationals to establish their headquarters in the ABP project but there are almost no foreign companies based in the area.
Next door to the ABP project sits an uncompleted “luxury” real estate project with the English name “perfect manor” but the surrounding area to the south is wasteland dotted with half-constructed low-rise apartment blocks.
A centrepiece of the ABP Beijing project is the Maya Island Hotel, which is dark and run down. It is described in its marketing material as “five-star”. Hotel staff acknowledged it has not been rated by an official hotel rating organisation.
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