Beijing-based property developer Vantone Holdings Co (萬通控股) yesterday denied having plans to exit the local market and called for more regulatory easing to allow Chinese capital in hotel and recreation businesses in Taiwan.
Vantone chairman Feng Lun (馮侖) made the statement at a property forum in Taipei after local Chinese-language media said the company intends to pull out to protest a lengthy review of its home sales.
The Chinese developer is awaiting approval from the Ministry of the Interior to deliver newly completed properties in New Taipei City to buyers of Chinese origin.
“We are happy about our investment here and will not leave,” Feng said, referring to a hillside apartment complex in New Taipei City’s Tamsui District (淡水).
However, Vantone, the only Chinese developer with an investment in Taiwan, is shelving plans for new housing projects after developing a number of vacation homes in 2011.
Feng said he is not surprised about the protracted review, since 30 percent of buyers are of Chinese origin.
Vantone is confident about a successful delivery and has been cooperative in meeting requirements, Feng said.
A total of 41 purchase applications are under review, the ministry said, adding that it is double-checking with the Mainland Affairs Council over the professional background of some of the Chinese buyers.
The ministry plans to cap buyers of Chinese origin at 10 percent for any apartment complex in Taiwan for political reasons, but the new requirement would not be retroactive on the 2011 project.
“It seems to me Chinese investors are not welcome in Taiwan whether they are engaged in property development or e-commerce, like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴),” Feng said.
Regardless, Vantone would stay and invest further in Taiwan if the government allows Chinese capital to help develop tourism, recreational and retirement facilities, Feng said.
Chinese tourists have shown a penchant for scenic resorts in Taiwan and many would like to take up residence here, the property tycoon said, adding that the government could, if necessary, set aside clusters for Chinese residents so that it might better monitor them.
The Chinese government has been supportive of different industries when mapping out economic reforms, but Taiwan appears to lack direction in this regard, Feng said.
Jones Lang LaSalle Taiwan (仲量聯行) managing director Tony Chao (趙正義) said Taipei has ample room for improvement in establishing where the property sector can make a contribution in a fair and honest fashion.
Chao, whose company organized the property forum, made the statement to reflect concerns among the industry over controversy involving major public construction projects, such as the Taipei Dome and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park (松山文創園區).
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