U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 24 mins

This Beijing Skyscraper, Seized by Chinese Authorities, Just Sold for $734 Million Online

Bryan Hood

Click here to read the full article.

In an era when basically everyone on the face of the planet shops online, it may seem like the opportunity to get real, jaw-dropping bargains has come and gone. But as the recent online sale of a dragon-inspired skyscraper in Beijing proves, they’re still out there; you just have to know where to look.

Pangu Plaza, one of Beijing’s most distinctive buildings, sold for 5.19 billion yuan ($734 million) earlier this week in an online auction on a website run by e-commerce giant Alibaba, according to CNN. The building, which was confiscated from fugitive billionaire Guo Wengui in 2016, had been valued at 7.4 billion yuan ($1.05 billion).

More from Robb Report

There was no long drawn-out bidding process for the tower, according to the network. Instead, two parties signed up for the auction and submitted their offers during a 24-hour window. The winner was Beijing property firm Yucheng Zhiye, its parent company, BBMG Corporation, said in a statement. Coming out on top by just 5 million yuan ($708,000), it would appear the firm got a real steal, as their winning bid was just under 70 percent of the listed value.

Located near the city’s iconic Bird’s Nest stadium, the 629-foot-tall Pangu Plaza was completed in 2008, one of the highlights of a district built specifically for that year’s Beijing Olympics and currently serves as the China headquarters for IBM. Eight years later, authorities seized ownership of the building from a real estate company owned by Guo. The exiled businessman, who has lived in the US since 2014, is wanted on a series of charges, including fraud and bribery. Guo has denied the allegations and calls himself a corruption whistle-blower. Many of the businessman’s assets in China have since been frozen or repossessed by the government.

Shortly after the news of the sale broke, Guo posted a video to YouTube in which he claimed that the new owner may have gotten even more of a bargain than previously believed. Wearing silver mirror aviator sunglasses, the billionaire claimed the winning bid was just 10 percent of the building’s actual value.

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.