Business / Industries

Shaolin pays A$4m to close land deal in Australia

By Liu Zheng ( Updated: 2015-02-25 19:56

Shaolin pays A$4m to close land deal in Australia

Shi Yongxin, the abbot of China's Shaolin Temple, attends the third Shaolin Cultural Festival with a team of 70 disciples in London, Oct 12, 2014. [Photo/IC]

China's Shaolin Temple has paid A$4.162 million to a southeastern coastal city in Australia's New South Wales state, closing an outstanding land purchase deal, reported.

Shi Yongxin, abbot in charge of the Shaolin Temple, personally presented the final payment to Joanna Gash, mayor of Shoalhaven city, for the Comberton Grange property at Falls Creek.

A complex project that includes a temple, hotels and a golf course is expected to be built, according to an application sent to the planning department of the NSW government, local Chinese media said.

"Shaolin is not a business, it is not a developer. It carries out many charitable projects," said Patrick Pang, a representative of the Shaolin Foundation during the dealing process.

Pang has been working since the development was first mooted in 2006.

The deal is not the first time the 1,500-year-old birthplace of kung fu has been involved in commercial activities.

Since 2010, the temple has had an online social media presence on Twitter-like Sina Weibo, and now boasts more than 77,000 followers. There is also a gaming app being developed to teach users kung fu on their mobile phones.

Shaolin-brand medical books are sold on, backed by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, and Buddhist disciples can now avoid the trek up Songshan mountain by paying to study at Shaolin via an Internet correspondence course.

Abbot Shi, one of the first Chinese monks to gain an MBA, once said Shaolin's business interests have been set up to support and preserve its ancient culture.

"We have entered a commercialized society ... so people tend to evaluate things from the angle of commercialization," said Shi. "But you need to look at what is behind the business practice. Some people do business so they can survive, and some do it to seek fortune. Shaolin Temple just wants to survive, to practice Buddhism".

Joseph Catanzaro, Chen Yingqun and Qi Xin contributed to the story.

Shaolin pays A$4m to close land deal in Australia

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