Caixin
Aug 06, 2018 04:10 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

Quick Take: Property Tycoon Joins Firm That Forswore Real Estate

Photo: VCG
Photo: VCG

One of China’s best-known real estate tycoons has become co-chairman of genome sequencing company BGI Group, parent of the Shenzhen-listed BGI Genomics Co. Ltd.

Wang Shi, founder and former chairman of Shenzhen-based property developer China Vanke Co. Ltd., will assist Chairman Wang Jian and contribute his expertise in management, corporate governance and business operations, the company said in a Sunday statement (link in Chinese).

Quoting a famous Chinese poem, the 67-year-old hiking enthusiast likened his new role to “the boundless scenery at the perilous peak” in a post (link in Chinese) to his personal account on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

Earlier this year, BGI faced accusations that it was snapping up real estate through deceit or bribery. At a July news conference, it said that it had obtained land for health care projects “though normal means” and promised to never develop commercial property projects.

BGI Executive Vice President Zhu Yanmei told Caixin on Sunday that the appointment of the property guru does not mean that the company will break this promise.

Wang Shi became an independent board member of BGI Genomics in 2015, but resigned in January. This was seen as a move anticipating his appointment to a role at BGI Group, as securities regulations don’t allow an employee of one of a listed firm’s top five shareholders to be an independent board member. BGI Group is BGI Genomics’ largest shareholder, holding a 37.18% stake as of the end of March.

Since resigning as Vanke chairman in June 2017, Wang Shi has also become the co-chairman of air conditioner manufacturer Broad Group, a position he took on in April.

BGI’s Zhu told Caixin that Wang Shi’s position will be neither full-time or nominal.

Contact reporter Coco Feng (renkefeng@caixin.com)

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