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Shaolin Temple auctions off business property
Updated: 2004-04-12 11:35

Authorities has auctioned off rights to run businesses and parking lots at the Shaolin Temple, world-renowned for its Kungfu and located on Songshan Mountain in the central province of Henan.

The auction last week saw transactions totaling about 3.3 million yuan (US$398,000). Tourism officials said it was the first time such an auction had been launched to sell trading rights at a tourism resort.

The property include 2,350-square-meter houses for shops and restaurants, and 60,000-square-meter car parks able to accommodate 1,500 vehicles, at the entrance of the Shaolin Temple resort.

The auction was held to raise funds for further development of the Shaolin resort and for adequate compensation for neighboring residents who were to be relocated to make room for resort development, according to the management authorities.

A total of 63 bidders, including some to-be-relocated residents, participated in the auction and shared 34 items on auction. They will enjoy 10 year rights to run the business, according to resort officials.

The fame of Chinese Kungfu has dawn increasing tourists from home and abroad to the Shaolin Temple and fostered a boom in restaurants and shops that was largely unregulated.

The resort was criticized for its over-commercialization and urbanization of natural scenery. The government of Dengfeng City, where the temple was located, invested last year over 100 million yuan (US$12 million) to dismantle many shops, residential houses and other buildings that were against the official development blueprint.

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