Creditors put fugitive Guo Wengui's dragon head-shaped Pangu Plaza on the auction block at a steep discount to recoup debt

By Pearl Liu / | July 23, 2019 2:45 PM SGT
An iconic office and hotel building in Beijing formerly controlled by the Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui will go on the auction block on August 19, as his creditors sell his forfeited assets to recoup debt.
Pangu Plaza Tower 5, a 39-storey building shaped like a dragon's head next to the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing, will open for bids for 24 hours from 10am on August 19 on Alibaba's Taobao e-commerce site. The building, glimpses of which could be seen in Paramount Picture's 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction, carries a reserve price of 5.18 billion yuan (US$750 million), less than half the average price of office towers in the neighbourhood.
Creditors seized the property in 2014 from Beijing Zenith Holdings after Guo fled to the United States to evade the Chinese government's corruption crackdown, which subsequently brought down Ma Jian, head of China's counter-espionage operations and a Guo associate. Guo had amassed a fortune estimated at 18 billion yuan, according to the Hurun Report in 2016.
Proceeds from the auction will go toward repaying more than 3 billion yuan of debt owed by Zenith to the Bank of Shanghai and a Shanghai investor, both listed as applicants of the auction.
Pangu Plaza Tower 5, designed in the likeness of a dragon's head. Photo: Weibo alt=Pangu Plaza Tower 5, designed in the likeness of a dragon's head. Photo: Weibo
Designed by Taiwan architect CY Lee, the man behind the Taipei 101 Tower, Pangu's layout claims to be imbued with elements of feng shui. Named after the creator of heaven and earth of Chinese mythology, the Pangu project features a row of five buildings aligned along a north-south axis, with the dragon's head " Tower 5, where the Pangu Seven Star hotel sits " pointing south.
Atop each of the three towers that make up the dragon's body, the developer had built four ...