I really appreciate all replies to this matter!
We lost about 4500usd (27.300 yuan) for this fraud, as we were asked to buy a 'present' to 3 government leaders, like was mentioned in this thread as well.
So of course, they wanted all in cash, but we only had 1500usd, which we gave after 'signing' the contract in 'their office', in centre on Kunming (I also took notes of the address, which I need to find first..)
Rest of it we spend by credit card, by going together with 'financial manager' to the local Kunming department store to buy some cigarettes. I also took a photo 'just for fun' of the huge bag of cigarettes. So we have a trace of that purchase as well.
As they are requesting more money to be transferred to their personal account (as bank fees are high, like they said), I asked to give me full details, which they did this morning. Now we also have a name and a bank account of one of them.
I think it's identity theft of one of the Kunming's construction companies, because they have sent me all documents (which I forwarded to Chinese embassy to get business visas), they also had everything (pens, papers, business cards) marked with same data – name of the company etc.
We really would like to catch them, as to be honest, it hurts, A lot. But taking a lawyer and spending even more, doesn't help us at all, maybe somebody else in the future, as like most of here said, we won't be getting anything back. So I don't really know what to do. I'll contact embassy as well, maybe they have some ideas how to proceed. Still, I'm pretty certain, that we weren't only ones, hopefully others won't fall into that scam, but I'm not that sure about that either.
What made us believe in this project was how they presented themselves, they know a lot about construction and design, also large scale projects, so they must have connections in that field. Also, they sent us AutoCAD files and 3D visuals of houses they wanted to build.
More details, we had translator as we don't speak any Chinese, a young girl, who studies English in Kunming university, seemed that she was related to one of the scammers, but not sure she knew what she was doing. We also had a driver (we have lots of photos of him) who even took us sightseeing before we left China and drop us off to the airport. Not sure that he knew about the scam either, or maybe he did, but was overconfident?
What else, man, who seemed to be main leader, escorted us (with translator and driver) to our hotel and had a chat with the manager because we had some issues with checking-in (we arrived too early, 7am in the morning), so he might recognize him. Hotel was Intercontinantal Kunming, so big and trustworthy chain.
Not sure what guanxi is, but our 'gift' to them was cigarettes.