China Vanke, the third largest home builder in the mainland by sales, issued an apology after it came in for heavy criticism for the poor quality of its homes on an annual consumer rights television show.
Serious water leakage from the ceiling was first noticed in 146 out of 201 units in Vanke’s Hillview Park residential project in Guangzhou in November 2018, according to the state-run China Central Television’s (CCTV) popular consumer rights show, which aired on Thursday night.
The CCTV programme said that just three months later homeowners reported other problems, including a burst sewage pipe. Despite repeated requests to Vanke to fix the issues, the company reluctantly agreed to sort the problems in March 2019, the report added.
Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.
The “315” show, similar to CBS network’s 60 Minutes in the United States, is a mix of undercover reports and song-and-dance routine. It is widely popular among Chinese viewers for exposing improper behaviour at big companies and protecting consumer rights.
Immediately after the show, Vanke apologised on its official WeChat account.
“We sincerely accept public criticism and supervision and we are deeply sorry for bringing troubles and concerns to our consumers due to the quality issue. We will continue to pay high attention to the quality of our products and services,” the developer said.
Vanke said that after receiving homebuyers’ complaints in November 2018 they had had set up a special team to review and follow up the issues related to the Guangzhou project. It added that all problems had been fixed by June last year.
Some other developers, including China Merchants Shekou and Sino-Ocean Group Holding, were also exposed on the show for the poor quality of their homes.
Analysts said that mainland Chinese developers were facing a rising tide of complaints regarding the quality of their construction, as they rush to build and sell as many properties as possible to cope with declining sales growth in the face of government measures to cool the market and China’s economic slowdown.
“Many developers are turning in sloppy work by blindly pursuing speed and squeezing the construction period, and many have overlooked maintaining good quality,” said Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based E-house China Research and Development Institution.
Property was one of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, owing to lockdowns and restrictive measures between late January and April, which hampered business activity.
In April, Moody’s downgraded the outlook for China’s property sector to negative, forecasting nationwide sales to fall by 5 per cent to 10 per cent in 2020.
The show, broadcast every year on global consumer rights day on March 15, was postponed to July 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The show first aired on March 15, 1991.
Purchase the 120+ page China Internet Report 2020 Pro Edition, brought to you by SCMP Research, and enjoy a 30% discount (original price US$400). The report includes deep-dive analysis, trends, and case studies on the 10 most important internet sectors. Now in its 3rd year, this go-to source for understanding China tech also comes with exclusive access to 6+ webinars with C-level executives, including Charles Li, CEO of HKEX, James Peng, CEO/founder of Pony.ai, and senior executives from Alibaba, Huawei, Kuaishou, Pinduoduo, and more. Offer valid until 31 August 2020. To purchase, please click here.
More from South China Morning Post:
- Vanke, China’s third-largest developer, seeks its second US$1 billion from stock investors to repay foreign debt, ease coronavirus crunch
- Live-streaming shopping a new black spot in e-commerce, China’s consumer rights watchdog says
This article Vanke heavily criticised for poor quality of homes on China’s 315 annual consumer rights TV show first appeared on South China Morning Post