Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

A banker counting money/FILE


China property firms owe $623 bn in taxes

A banker counting money/FILE

A banker counting money/FILE

SHANGHAI, Nov 25 – Major Chinese property developers owe 3.8 trillion yuan ($623 billion) in unpaid taxes, the state broadcaster said, raising a storm of controversy amid huge sensitivity over high housing prices.

In a weekly consumer programme, China Central Television (CCTV) said property firms should have paid more than 4.6 trillion yuan in land taxes from 2005 to 2012, but authorities collected only 800 billion yuan.

The report, aired Sunday, cited lawyer Li Jinsong as the source. Li, of the Beijing Yitong Law Firm, has previously raised the allegations but has never before been given such a high-profile platform in China’s state-run media.

The CCTV report did not give a total for the number of firms alleged to have failed to pay taxes, but said they included 45 listed Chinese property developers, traded both domestically and overseas.

Li could not immediately be reached for comment by AFP.

Chinese Internet users condemned real estate companies for greed, blaming them for unaffordable housing, while developers said the methodology was flawed.

“Property developers force up home prices to such high levels, it’s time for them to surrender some of their profits,” user Lili277 posted on a weibo microblog, a Chinese equivalent to Twitter.

But the head of one of the accused firms threatened to sue CCTV.

“I only know the stupidity and ignorance of CCTV after seeing this report,” said Ren Zhiqiang, the chairman of Huayuan Property, on his widely-followed microblog.

“I’m studying how to publicly prosecute CCTV,” he added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Stock investors took a mixed view. Huayuan was up 1.52 percent in Shanghai trading in the afternoon, while another developer, Vanke, fell 1.03 percent in Shenzhen, China’s other stock exchange.

In Hong Kong, Agile — which the report alleged owed 8.3 billion yuan — dropped 2.46 percent but SOHO China edged up 0.14 percent.

CCTV has previously taken aim at other companies over consumer issues in China, including technology giant Apple over its warranty polices and German auto firm Volkswagen over quality.

Earlier this year, the government investigated foreign companies over prices in the baby formula and pharmaceutical sectors, amid a bribery probe into Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline.

Click to comment

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...


NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...