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Film director accused of applying for house ownership under false pretences

(People's Daily Online)    17:18, July 22, 2016

A notice posted on the bulletin board in the lobby of Guangxi Film Group Company has been photographed, uploaded and widely reposted by netizens, ever since the name “Zhang Yimou” was spotted on it.

The notice explains that Zhang, a famous Chinese director, applied to buy a fund-raising house, purporting to be a worker who does not own a home. However, in reality, Zhang owns several sumptuous villas.

Huang Jian, who manages project development at Guangxi Film Group Company, claims that it was legal for Zhang to do this. He explained that Zhang joined Guangxi Filmmaking Factory as a photographer in 1982, and not long after he was allocated a house. In 2000, Guangxi Filmmaking Factory finally finished raising funds to build the houses. Any workers who did not have a house could participate in the program, and those who had older houses could give up their old houses in exchange for a new one. Zhang Yimou belonged to the latter group, Huang said.

Most of the house owners received their keys in 2000, but did not get formal property owner certificates until 2015. Due to incomplete paperwork, Zhang’s house was delayed until this year, and the information has only now become public.

According to the deputy director of the Guangxi Housing Reform Office, applicants for the house allocation program were eligible as long as they either didn’t own a house, or didn’t own a house in a “standard housing area.” Thus, Zhang did not apply for the house under false pretences. Rather, he is just now getting around to enjoying a benefit to which he was entitled long ago. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

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