Outcry as China billionaire gets housing subsidy
Posted by Author on October 29, 2010
AFP, Oct 29, 2010 –
BEIJING — Internet mogul Ma Huateng is number nine on Forbes magazine’s list of the richest people in China, with a fortune of 4.4 billion dollars. But he gets 450 dollars a month in official housing subsidies.
Ma, 39, is the chairman of Hong Kong-listed Chinese web portal Tencent and has been deemed a “local leading talent” by the government in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen on the border with Hong Kong, where the company is based.
The title gives him the right to 3,100 yuan a month in housing subsidies over a five-year period as an incentive to buy or rent a flat in the city, according to the state-run Global Times, citing the city government.
“The housing-subsidy policy aims to attract talents to Shenzhen and make them stay,” an official with Shenzhen’s bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, identified by his surname Liu, told the newspaper. “The city has lost its competitive edge to other cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.”
More than 2,900 people believed to have contributed to the coastal city’s boom had benefited from the programme by early this year, one-third of them businessmen, the report said.
The South China Morning Post said many senior corporate officials were on the list.
The news has triggered uproar among the public, particularly the online community, amid soaring property prices and rising concerns over the country’s widening income gap.
“Ordinary people cannot afford to buy their flats and there is no policy to address that, but the government is granting house-buying subsidies to the filthy rich…. Who can save China?” one user said in a posting on netease.com.
In a commentary, the Shanghai Evening Post said: “Any incentive policy must not go counter to social equality or hurt the mass public’s feelings, nor can it become a treatment for ‘super citizens’.”
Officials at Tencent were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP. The company told the Global Times it respected the policy in Shenzhen to attract top talent, but said nothing further.
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This entry was posted on October 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm and is filed under Business, China, Economy, Life, News, People, Social, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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