CHINA: Bordeaux vineyard owner named in corruption probe - report
The biggest Chinese owner of Bordeaux vineyards has been accused of misusing government money to fund the acquisitions, according to a report.
Haichang Group, which reportedly owns ten properties in the French wine-growing region, diverted along with another firm CNY268m (US$43m) to buying vineyards, AFP has reported, citing the latest report from China's National Audit Office. The money had been earmarked for overseas technology, AFP said.
France is the biggest wine importer into China and the popularity of Bordeaux in the country has seen a number of Chinese investors and firms buy into the region's vineyards.
In 2012, rice wine producer Jinfeng raised CNY700m to part-fund a 70% stake in Bordeaux wine brokers Diva, while the year before Chinese biggest wine producer, COFCO, acquired Château de Viaud in the prestigious Bordeaux Lalande-de-Pomerol AOC wine region.
China has cracked down on corruption in the past 12 months. An anti-gifting measure that has depressed sales of high-end wines and spirits has seen some international alcohol companies, including Remy Cointreau, look to lessen their focus on the country.
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