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Mainland's richest man purchases prime plots
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-19 06:17

A new 100,000-square-metre exhibition centre will showcase the most advanced electronics not yet on the market when construction is completed late next year.

The Chinese mainland's richest businessman, Huang Guangyu, won the bid of two pieces of land in southwestern Beijing at a cost of more than 800 million yuan (US$96 million). He signed a contract with the Beijing Municipal Land and Resources Bureau on the land-use rights transfer yesterday.

It is so far the capital's biggest land-use rights transfer in terms of area.

Huang, 35, has a personal wealth estimated at 10.5 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion).

The two pieces of land, covering nearly 120,000 square metres, are located at the Fengtai Science Park - a part of the Zhongguancun Science Park, which has been dubbed "the Silicon Valley of China."

Huang's Beijing Gome Real Estate Co Ltd plans to build a international high-tech complex on the two adjacent areas - which are separated by a road - costing more than 3 billion yuan (US$360 million), said Yu Jinyong, the company general manager.

The complex, with a total floor area expected to top 350,000 square metres, will include hotels, office buildings, shopping malls and the exhibition hall.

"The most eye-catching part of the centre is the 100,000-square-metre electronics exhibition hall, where visitors can see and experience the most advanced and fancy electrical appliances that will soon be put into the market," Yu said yesterday at a press conference.

He said Gome Group, a conglomerate engaged in retailing and real estate, will work with more than 1,000 leading electronics producers worldwide to build the hall.

Fu Xuejiang, deputy head of the Fengtai Science Park Administrative Committee, said the two plots of land are located at the core of the park where 150,000 business people and another 300,000 residents are expected to work and live in the near future.

"Gome's project can meet the current shortfall in public services such as shopping and entertainment at the park," Fu said. "Furthermore, these facilities can also serve residents living in the southwestern and the southern parts of Beijing."

The land purchase is regarded as a landmark in the development of Gome - China's biggest electronics retailer, which is moving into real estate, a sector that has flourished amid a national construction boom.

Huang, a native of South China's Guangdong Province, came to Beijing and set up the first Gome appliances store when he was 18. Seventeen years later, Huang has more than 150 appliance chain stores nationwide with a total turnover of 24 billion yuan (US$2.9 billion) in 2004.

Huang was listed as the wealthiest businessman on the Chinese mainland by Shanghai-based researcher Rupert Hoogewerf in 2004.

Huang established the Beijing Gome Real Estate Co Ltd early this year and reportedly, the company is negotiating in more than 30 real estate projects in Beijing.

(China Daily 05/19/2005 page3)

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