Alibaba’s hoax urban projects emerge in southern provinces

Although a relatively new face in the real estate market, Alibaba Real Estate Joint Stock Company (Alibaba) has quickly built its position by pushing advertisement for made-up urban projects in many Southeastern cities and provinces, mostly Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

Alibaba Company’s staff hindering authorities’ enforcement in Toc Tien commune. Photo: NONG NGAN

Alibaba Company’s staff hindering authorities’ enforcement in Toc Tien commune. Photo: NONG NGAN

Heavily promoted fake housing projects

According to Mr. Le Thanh My, Chairman of Nhon Trach District People's Committee, they have not given permission to Alibaba to construct any residential projects, yet those made-up ventures are still being sold online, the latest being the Ali Aqua Nhon Trach project. In Long Thanh district, where Long Thanh International Airport is to be established, Alibaba is also selling multiple residential projects named with their own brand.

As of now, Alibaba is trying to sell 29 land projects, 27 of which are located in Long Thanh district. Upon discovering that the company was selling land lots in Xuan Loc commune, the district People's Committee had to force the dismantling of all enclosures and billboards around the area, while trying to make sure the same illegal tradings of land would not reoccur.

Exploiting legal loopholes

According to Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the 27 residential land projects being promoted in Long Thanh district used to be 19 agricultural zones that were transferred to new owners. Most of the land plots are registered under Mr. Nguyen Thai Linh (owner of Alibaba company) or his relatives, and some now lie beneath unauthorized transportation roads.

The agricultural zones were divided into smaller land plots, which are then sold to oblivious investors with a red book (land use right certificate) registered in their names. Each of the plots are only 500 square meter in area and therefore do not violate the minimum land coverage specified by the authorities, which is partly how Alibaba has been getting away with their deceptions.

On the other hand, when investors pay 95% upfront, the company will immediately close the deal and provide a red book. Even when the land plots’ ownership does not reach their buyers in time, Alibaba would compensate the buyers with interests. According to an officer from the Department of Internal Affairs of Dong Nai Provincial Party Committee, the reason Alibaba has not been prosecuted is because no victim has filed a complaint, nor have authorities been able to determine the damage caused by their fraudulence.

Besides outrageously promoting hoax projects, the company has also been building unlicensed construction works on agricultural land and zoned areas such as residential houses, transaction offices, transportation roads, electricity, water and lighting infrastructures.

According to HCM City Real Estate Association, Alibaba has showed evidence of calling for multi-level capital investments. Since 2017, the association has sent a notice to Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee and Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau provinces to warn against the company taking advantage of legal loopholes to sell fabricated projects.

Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and Environment has proposed the implementation of corrective measures according to the provisions in Article 72, Decree No. 43/2014/ND- CP dated May 15th, 2014 from the Government.

Alibaba’s hoax projects in Ba Ria - Vung Tau to be sanctioned

The Economic Police Department in Ba Ria - Vung Tau has completed verifying hoax projects by Alibaba company in the area. The company is cooperating with 5 businesses in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai to transfer 7 land projects in Phu My town with a total of 3,333 lots, cashing in VND771 billion (about $33.1 million). These businesses include Alibaba Law Firm, Spartaland Real Estate Investment and Development JSC, Chien Binh Thep Real Estate JSC, Chien Thang Real Estate JSC and Alibaba Tan Thanh Co., Ltd.

The above-mentioned projects are all being sold lavishly without sufficient legal documents. Some land plot projects in Phu My have been recorded as administrative violations, but Alibaba still fails to observe regulations.

By June 25th in Chau Pha commune, the company had tried to cover 3 illegally built asphalt roads with dirt to try and mislead inspectors. Mr. Nguyen Van Tham, Chairman of Phu My Town People's Committee told the outlet that despite their haphazard effort, the area was seized nonetheless.

The People's Committee of Toc Tien commune said that they are requesting the owners of 3 hoax project land in the commune to deal with any unwarranted constructions.
It is known that the chartered capital of Alibaba Company is said to have increased rapidly in the past 3 years, starting at VND1 billion (about US$43,000) to an abrupt VND20 billion (about $860,000) within half a year, then to VND1,600 billion ($69,000,000) in 2017, and finally VND5,600 ($241,000,000) billion in 2019.

By staff writers – Translated by Tan Nghia

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