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Chinese Developer Pirates Plans for Hadid Project

Counterfeiting is, of course, nothing new in China. From DVDs to Apple stores to an entire Austrian village, the country is rife with copycats. But a new project in Chongqing may take the cake, reports Kevin Holden Platt.
January 3, 2013, 1pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Platt reports in the audacious copying of Zaha Hadid's design for Wangjing SOHO, an office and retail complex in Beijing comprised of "three towers that resemble curved sails," that is currently under constriction. The culprit, in this case, appears to be Chongqing Meiquan, the developer behind the similarly styled Meiquan 22nd Century project, which is also under contruction.

"Zhang Xin, the billionaire property developer who heads SOHO China and commissioned Hadid to design the complex, lashed out against the pirates during the Galaxy [another Hadid-designed project] opening: 'Even as we build one of Zaha's projects, it is being replicated in Chongqing,' a megacity near the eastern edge of the Tibetan plateau. At this point in time, she added, the pirates of Chongqing are building faster than SOHO. The original is set for completion in 2014."

According to Platt, "Zhang has issued an open appeal for help in combatting this massive, open counterfeiting operation, and lamented: 'Everyone says that China is a great copycat country, and that it can copy anything.'"

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Published on Friday, December 28, 2012 in Spiegel Online
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