Soho China is selling of its commercial portfolios amid a new round of political struggle within the CCP leadership

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Husband and wife in a partnership.

Soho China is said to be selling its portfolio of commercial properties worthy of US$8.6 billion in Beijing and Shanghai, with potential buyers including Blackstone and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, according to Mingtiandi.

The developers Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, his wife and powerful business partner, are said to be under investigation with corruption charges closely linked to the CCP leadership. They may soon become the next victims in the political wrestling within the CCP leadership.

Mingtiandi said the portfolio consists of the couple’s eight core commercial assets in the two cities, which includes the Zaha Hadid-designed Soho Galaxy in the Chinese capital.

A separate report in Sina.com indicated that other three properties are Guanghua Road Soho and tower three of the Zaha Hadid-designed Wangjing Soho in Beijing, along with Soho Fuxing Plaza, which was completed in Shanghai in 2015.

While the couple is trying to sell of their portfolios in China and move their assets overseas, rumors about their “running away” from President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign are spreading fast in Chinese media across the globe.

Pan Shiyi is definitely a close confidant of Wang Qishan as Yao Qing, a family member of Wang’s wife, has been the main shareholder of Soho China. And Zhang Xin has kept a close relationship with Gao Yanyan, a close partner of Wang Qishan and managing director of Blackstone Partners.

Pan Shiyi’s game of wealth may soon be over

China’s stock markets are highly manipulated by the hands of Vice-president Wang Qishan.

No wonder that Soho China’s share price surged following the reports of those sell-outs, rising from HK$2.30 on Wednesday afternoon to close at HK$2.71 on Thursday.

In a stock exchange announcement published on Thursday morning, Pan said that the company was not in a position to confirm any information that would need “to be announced in order to avoid the creation of a false market” in Soho China’s securities, while acknowledging that the developer has discussed potential transaction opportunities “from time to time” as part of its ordinary course of business.

Mingtiandi said the move to offload its core assets indicates that Pan may be ramping up a shift in direction that he hinted at four months ago when he announced the company wanted to sell 20,000 square metres of office space in Beijing and Shanghai.

At that time, Pan said that the company, which has struggled to generate revenues from office leasing, was going to address an overlarge investment portfolio by shifting focus from investing in rent-yielding assets to a develop-and-sell approach.

China Soho in Beijing.

Pan Shiyi co-founded SOHO China with his wife Zhang Xin in 1995. In less than 20 years, Soho China became the largest office developer in China and a partial owner of the General Motors Building in Manhattan.

In mid 2017, CCP killer Guo Wengui accused Pan Shiyi and his firm of illegally colluding with CCP officials, procuring favorable zoning changes for their properties and violating government regulations in connection with their property investments.

Pan vehemently denied Guo’s allegations, calling them “nonsense.” However, Soho China dropped the slander suit against Guo in February, 2018. But both his business and reputation started to take a quick turn downwards.

A bigger fight is coming along within the CCP leadership

In his latest tweet with his Weibo account, Pan Shiyi said, “After a busy day, I walked into my bedroom very tiredly. There was no light in the room, full of darkness.When I opened the light, darkness suddenly disappeared, and the room is filled with brightness. The darkness has not run away from the window, or from under the door. Darkness was non existence. I have not driven it away. With brightness, there is no place for darkness. The existence of darkness is the lack of brightness. Am I enlightened?”

According to Ludepress in the live broadcast, Zhang Xin has been accused of inciting to overthrow the Chinese Communist Party in collusion with her overseas political and economic links, and punishing the couple in the name of acting against the Party is a powerful tool of President Xi against Wang Qishan. “That is the highlight of this upcoming Cultural Revolution Version 2.0,”, said Lude.

Property tycoon Wang Jianlin was the victim of the CCP’s political struggle before the Fourth Plenary Session, said Ludepress, and the problems with Pan Shiyi will be symbolic of the next phase of struggle between Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan.

The fact that Wang Qishan is the power support behind Pan Shiyi’s business signifies that Wang is losing his grip of power within the established dictatorship.

“The sky above the earth would not tolerate the appearance of two suns”, said finance analyst Lao Jiang, “President Xi won’t allow another person with the potential to challenge his authority; it is the same as Chairman Mao Zedong putting his rival Liu Shaoqi to death during the Cultural Revolution in the 60s and 70s.”

Guo Wengui said in his live broadcast in 2018 that President Xi had ordered his people to investigate into the corruption of Wang Qishan. “President Xi won’t allow Wang to control the financial sectors in the country and major commercial assets overseas; he must use political means to save his own life from Wang’s threats,” said Ludepress, “And the political revolt of Pan Shiyi and his wife can be taken as an important case in the political fight.”

Among China’s major property developers, Pan Shiyi’s investment portfolio is relatively healthy as he owns the least debts from banks. But this won’t save him from getting into troubles.

“Zhang Xin has been listed by the CCP as one of the most dangerous figures and conglomerates overseas, “ said Lude, “In the past, Xi and Wang were tied closely to each other. Now in a new era, it is time for them to be divided. This is the norm of political struggles within the CCP system.”

Under severe pressure from domestic economic downturns and failing trade war with the US, President Xi has to find someone to take responsibility.

When Xi and Wang are fighting, it will be the doom of the CCP.

By Cloudy Seagail

>> More about Wang Qishan.

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