Hong Kong property developer Shui On Land's 5 billion yuan (US$730 million) development project in Shangri-la may not move forward after all, with Hong Kong media reporting that Shui On chairman Vincent Lo (罗康瑞) told an investor party that the property giant will quit the project.
Lo reportedly cited difficulties with Shangri-la's 'operational environment' as the reason for pulling out of the project. Shui On representatives contacted by Hong Kong media said that Lo's comments merely indicated that he wished to scrap the project's current plan, not the entire project itself.
Shui On spokespeople have yet to elucidate the company's plan for the project, for which it signed a cooperation agreement with the Diqing government.
Initial plans for the project involved 1,773 square kilometers of land, 966 square kilometers of which would be designated 'protected land' plus a 349 square kilometer 'buffer belt'. A 760,000 square meter resort would be located within the belt.
Lo's comments raise questions regarding Shui On's commitments to the company's three other development projects in Yunnan.
The company has signed agreements for a residential and resort development in Lashihai outside of Lijiang, a similar development on the east side of Erhai Lake in Dali and a residential/office/commercial development at the north end of Dianchi Lake in Kunming.
Total investment by Shui On in Yunnan tourism projects was projected to reach 48 billion yuan this year, which would make it the largest investor in Yunnan's tourism sector.