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Seized Beijing skyscraper snapped up for £605m in auction

Sky News logo Sky News 21/08/2019 Lucia Binding, news reporter
a large tall tower with a clock on the side of a building: The Pangu Plaza in Beijing has been sold in an online auction © Getty The Pangu Plaza in Beijing has been sold in an online auction

A Beijing skyscraper confiscated from a fugitive Chinese billionaire has been sold in an online auction for 5.18 billion yuan (£605m).

The 40-story Pangu Plaza, estimated to be worth over £824m, had only been on sale for 24 hours when it was snapped up on the auction site of Chinese internet giant Alibaba.

The buyer was a Beijng-based property development and management company called YuCheng Zhiye, according to the auction site.

More than 145,000 internet users followed the auction however only two bids were cast, with the winner purchasing the spectacular building for little more than its reserve price.

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The multiple complex building overlooks the busy Olympic District of Beijing and neighbours many of the 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, including the Bird's Nest stadium.

It was put on sale by creditors after being seized from billionaire Guo Wengui in 2016.

Guo, a businessman-turned-political activist, fell out with members of the Communist Party leadership and is accused of corruption and other misdeeds.

a skyscraper in the background: The Pangu Plaza dominates the area next to the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium © Getty The Pangu Plaza dominates the area next to the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium

He was forced to flee China and went to the US in late 2014 after learning he was going to be arrested after allegations against him including bribing, kidnapping, money laundering, fraud and rape.

He is now based in New York and is an outspoken critic of China's communist regime and President Xi Jinping.

On Wednesday, he uploaded a video to YouTube claiming the winning bid was only 10% of the Pangu Plaza's estimated value.

The property's other buildings, including offices and the luxury Pangu 7 Star Hotel, were not included in the auction.

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