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A Beijing skyscraper that's meant to look like a dragon and previously belonged to a fugitive billionaire just sold for R11.1 billion — a mere 40% of its reported value

Libertina Brandt , Business Insider US
 Sep 01, 2019, 02:32 PM
Pangu Plaza in Beijing.
GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images

A dragon-inspired skyscraper in Beijing was just sold in an online auction.

On August 21, CNN reported that the Pangu Plaza was bought by Yucheng Zhiye, a Beijing-based property company, for $734 million (roughly R11.1 billion) after being put up for auction by a Beijing court.

CNN also reported that, according to the online listing, 150,000 people signed up to watch the 24-hour bidding feud between just two participants. The opening bid was $733.292 million (roughly R11.1 billion).

Pangu Plaza was designed to look like a dragon's head. The four buildings next to it represent the dragon's body and tail.
Getty Images

Pangu Plaza is a 629-foot-tall building that was designed by architect Li Zuyuan of the Taiwan-based architecture firm C.Y. Lee & Partners. It was built to resemble a dragon. The skyscraper, which is featured in the photo above, is supposed to represent the head of the dragon.

The four smaller buildings next to it, also featured above, are meant to serve as the body and tail. The four smaller buildings were not included in the auction, according to CNN.

The government seized the skyscraper in 2016 from a company owned by Chinese billionaire, real-estate mogul, and fugitive Guo Wengui.

According to the Miami Herald, Wengui is wanted in China for a multitude of crimes - including paying bribes - and fled to the United States four years ago. He claims to be innocent of the charges against him and believes they are politically motivated. In July, the Miami Herald reported that Wengui was seeking political asylum in America.

On Wednesday, Wengui posted a video on YouTube during which he stated, according to CNN, that the winning bid of Pangu Plaza was only 10% of its approximated value.

His statement suggests the skyscraper is worth much more than the online listing estimate, which valued Pangu Plaza at more than $1.05 billion (roughly R15 billion) over 40% more than what it sold for.

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