CHINA / Regional

Nude models strut around at housing expo
By Yu Nan (
Updated: 2006-03-28 08:51

Naked models with colored drawings on their bare breasts featured at this year's Shanghai Spring Real Estate Exhibition as part of a special promotion to campaign for buyers, Chengdu Evening News has reported.

A model has her body painted at the housing show in Shanghai. [file]
Semi-naked female models wearing only t-shaped underpants with colored drawings on their breasts walked around the exhibition for "International Auto Town" on March 17 and 18.

Saleswomen at the show said the models were a kind of performance art designed to attract people's attention.

The naked model show wasn't the only ridiculous promotion. Some developers claimed that the so-called "international wardrobe city" project was a large-scale image project that has been greatly supported by the local government.

Others promised to return rental fees with interest estimated much higher than the normal bank-lending rate for customers interested in long-term investment.

Some developers strongly recommended group-housing purchases, claiming higher member numbers mean cheaper prices. They even promised a free five-day trip to Vietnam to help take in potential customers.

Of course, the naked models and other over the top promotions were obviously stunts designed to lure foolhardy customers.

In fact, the real estate exhibition was indeed prosperous for developers who were fielded inquiries from a horde of customers all day. Over 5,000 brochures were sent out to potential investors in just one day.

Developers originally hoped to increase sales by using naked models to attract customers; but many customers are fed up and disgusted with the overuse of such cheap tricks.
As supply exceeds demand, the acreage of vacant commercial housing has increased to 143 million square meters, up 15.7 percent on last year, based on the fourth quarter statement on monetary policy 2005 issued by the People's Bank of China.

A model walks around at the housing exposition in Shanghai. [file]

Nevertheless, it showed down payments for housing following the 2006 exhibition decreased by up to 20 percent compared with last year.

Insiders say the real estate market should have been regulated by the state but is now in the hands of developers trying to damage the supply and demand relationship.

The real estate market hasn't actually experienced the soft landing, economics insiders added.

Zhang Qunqun, member of Institution of Finance and Trade Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that local governments ignored the demands of the people while helping to line the pockets of some developers.

"Fortunately, however, we are not as stupid as the investors expected," an unnamed gentleman who intended to purchase housing said.

"If the price is right, I will make a purchase even without promotional offers," he said.