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May 29, 2017

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Vantone chief staying put in Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chairman of Beijing Vantone Real Estate Co., Ltd. (萬通實業) Feng Lun (馮侖) yesterday denied rumors that Vantone was withdrawing investment from the nation, saying that the company will remain and discuss future plans after the 2016 presidential election.

Feng is known to be the mainland Chinese real estate developer with the most interest in Taiwan's market. Four years ago, he invested in Vantone Taipei 2011, a development in Tamsui. The project was his first investment in Taiwan.

According to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI, 內政部), within one apartment or community, the total number of households purchased by mainland Chinese investors is not to exceed 10 percent of the entire project.

Rumors have been circulating that Feng was disappointed in the regulations and was therefore considering withdrawing all his investments in the Taiwan real estate market.

In response, Feng yesterday denied the speculation at the 2015 real estate summit held by the Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL, 仲量聯行). He said that this policy is "laughable and immature, however, Vantone Taipei 2011 was not included in the range restricted by the policy."

Vantone representatives said yesterday that their project has been completed, with currently 30 percent of its buyers hailing from mainland China. Transactions are currently progressing, Feng said.

China's Nominal Interest in Local Investment 'concerning'

Feng said firmly yesterday that Vantone has no current plans to withdraw from Taiwan, and if any changes are to be made, they will only be discussed after the 2016 presidential election. However, he admits to being concerned that so few mainland Chinese developers are interested in investing in Taiwan's real estate market. "I wonder, if investing in Taiwan is really a wise decision, then why has it not become a trend?" he asked.

"I have noticed that Taiwan doesn't seem very welcoming to mainland Chinese investors in its real estate market, nor is it welcoming toward Jack Ma (executive chairman of the Alibaba Group); this makes me wonder what is it that the people of this nation welcome at all?" he said yesterday at the summit.

Even so, he said that he has faith in Taiwan's legal system, and this is the main reason that Vantone has no current plans to withdraw. "Had Vantone divested, it would be a tragedy for the nation," Feng added.

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