A Chinese billionaire spent millions of dollars on hundreds of luxury villas for residents of his home village. However, the villas are still deserted since the villagers are arguing on who should own multiple houses. Chen Sheng, the founder and chairman of drinks company Tiandi No 1 Beverage Inc, spent 200 million yuan to build 258 luxury villas. The villas were built on a land which was offered by the authorities in the village of Guanhu.
Each villa covers 280 square meters and has three stories. There are 5 bedrooms, two reception rooms, a garage and a small garden. There is also a small stream passing through the garden. Many pedestrian bridges, basketball and badminton courts and a public stage for cultural events have also been built there. All the structures were completed last year but they are still deserted.
It is not the price but the greed of the people which is keeping people away. According to 2013 census, the village had 190 households, Chen decided to build an extra 68 villas to make sure everyone who lives in the village gets one. But this turned out to be a huge mistake. As soon as the plans were announced, the people in Guanhu started fighting over who should get multiple villas.
Some of the families claimed that they need multiple homes, for their extended families, or for their children after they get married. The farmers who moved from the village also started to express their desire to return and claim the villas. Chen Sheng said that he was very disappointed by the people towards whom he had been extremely generous. He has not even visited Guanhu in the last two years. He said, “As soon as I went back to the village, everyone started making all kinds of demands, so I don’t go back anymore. If I return, everyone would have all sorts of requests, so I’d rather not return.”
Apart from building free villas for the people, Sheng was also planning to build a large pig farm and plant lychee orchards in the new village. This would have created 100 new jobs for the community. The meat producing factory he owned would have bought the meat from the new farm. He said, “Within four years, the villagers’ average income will be 200,000 yuan ($32,000) a year, so they won’t have to worry about houses or their children’s education.”
However, people are too busy fighting over who should receive two villas or even one, so the plans were put to hold for an indefinite time. A report said that the village community plans to solve the problem as soon as they can. Meanwhile, the luxury villas are becoming a target of vandalism. At least 10 windows were smashed with stones and the whole place already need many repairs.
Fingers crossed about the future of this Chinese village!