The Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) yesterday criticized its Chinese landlord, Chengshang Group Co Ltd (成商集團), for occupying the department store it has been renting in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, which has forced the closure of the store since Monday.
“The move is illegal and has damaged the image of the Chengdu City government,” Pacific China Holdings Ltd (太平洋中國控股), a Far Eastern subsidiary operating about 10 department stores in China, said in a statement.
A number of security guards occupied Chengdou Chunxi Masion Pacific Department Store Co Ltd (成都太平洋百貨春熙店) — a joint venture between Pacific China and Chengshang Group — in the early hours of Monday.
The guards, hired by Chengshang Group, forbade employees to enter the department store and forced the closure of the store, which had not reopened as of press time last night.
The department store is scheduled to close permanently at the end of this year because the two companies failed to reach a consensus on renewing the lease on the commercial building after Chengshang Group tried to raise the rental amount by five times.
However, Pacific China said a court in Chengdu has not yet made a decision on whether the department store has to go into voluntary liquidation immediately, which is a sure sign that Chengshang Group’s actions are illegal.
Far Eastern has reported the matter to related government agencies in Taiwan and China, but complained that Chinese law enforcement agencies regarded the matter only as a contractual dispute, instead of an illegal action.
Far Eastern called for the Chinese government to focus on the matter, saying the move may drag down Taiwanese companies’ willingness to invest in China and damage the spirit of the cross-strait investment protection agreement which was signed last year.