With housing curbs in the mainland in place for more than two years now, developers have been feeling the pinch as sales plummet. But it seems that some have finally lost patience and are trying to reverse the policy - and in rather a high-profile manner.
In a rare call against official policy, a top advisory body - the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - said China should ease restrictions on purchases for high-end residential properties in the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China Daily yesterday cited a CPPCC proposal as saying.
Even when the country surprisingly cut rates earlier this month to maintain growth, Premier Wen Jiabao gave the order to "stringently implement control on the property market."
The CPPCC, although without real political power, comprises many influential figures. Among them are prominent developers including Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin, Shimao chairman Xu Rongmao and Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin.
The Standing Committee also includes Victor Li Tzar-kuoi of Cheung Kong (Holdings), Peter Woo Kwong- ching of Wharf (Holdings), and Walter Kwok Ping-sheung of Sun Hung Kai Properties. Their firms all have substantial interests in the mainland.