The second largest developer in China by revenue holds the distinction of being the largest property management company in China.
It also owns a 7.4-acre tract in Kuala Lumpur, its second project in South-East Asia. Like its other projects in China, the plan is to eventually manage the Bukit Nanas serviced apartment project in Kuala Lumpur.
During a media familiarisation trip to China, subsidiary Vanke Service (Hong Kong) Co Ltd managing director Log Lin said: “A developer build and sell. They then look for another piece of land and the cycle begins again. Every time it sells, they lose control of what they have already sold.
“But with property management, we can manage the property for its entire life span. In so doing, along the way, we improve the quality of our projects as part of a branding strategy,” he says.
It is hard to miss the green hoarding as one cruises along Jalan Raja Chulan, heading towards The Weld to the left and AmBank building on the right.
The company bought the land adjacent to the gazetted Bukit Nanas forest research when the land, comprising 16 plots, were put up for sale in March 2016 by liquidator Deloitte Corporate Services.
Although it has yet to get a development approval from the Malaysian government for its Bukit Nanas serviced apartment project, the plan is to manage that 7.4-acre development eventually.
Having made a mark for property management in China – 30% are Vanke’s projects and 70% non-Vanke projects – Lin said Vanke Services’ immediate plans is to strengthen its property management services in Hong Kong and Macau before heading to other parts of the world.
Nonetheless, the plan is to manage its Bukit Nanas project on its completion. Malaysia and China have different rules and regulations with regards property management. But Hong Kong, being a former British colony, and likewise Malaysia, will share some similarities, says Lin.
The Bukit Nanas project is Vanke’s second project in South-East Asia. It jointly developed a high-rise condominium with Singapore’s Keppel Land group. That was completed a few years ago.
On how the slow property market in Malaysia is affecting Vanke’s sentiment with regard to its maiden foray into Malaysia, Vanke Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Lang Cong said over the longer term, the sector would pick up.
“China Vanke has gone through many economic cycles. The property sector may be slow today, but it cannot be down forever,” Lang said at Beijing’s International Horticultural Exhibition where it was the only private developer to be invited to build a pavilion with an indoor tropical greenhouse and a separate digital exhibition showing mangrove forest.
There is a lot going on for the China Vanke, which was set up 35 years ago in Shenzhen in 1984, even within China.
The Chinese government is working towards attracting the top 500 global companies to Shenzhen’s Super Bay area, a mixed commercial integrated development which is about 290 acres in size.
The number of high rise buildings in this development will be almost equal to half of the number of total high-rise buildings in Manhattan, New York, making it the most populated area in China for high-rise buildings.
China Vanke is participating in the Zhen Wan Hui area within the Super Bay, which comprises of condominiums, office buildings, commercial lots and hotels. Zhen Wan Hui will be the core or focal point of this large-scale integrated high-end development.
A joint venture project between China Vanke and Shenzhen Metro, the total construction acreage is 116 acres, a China Vanke representative told the Malaysian media on Sept 23.
The company said that it has a 40-year lease for the site from the government. China Vanke estimates it will finish developing the Zhen Wan Hui area within the Super Bay by 2022.
China Vanke is the only developer that was allowed to develop serviced apartments in Super Bay. The company was ranked 356th in the July 2016 Fortune Global 500. It moved up to 254th in 2019. The bay area developments will give Vanke’s project pipeline a significant boost, Bloomberg research shows.
Property development and management are its staples and it has invested massively in technology, especially for its property management arm.
Using digital tech, Vanke manages residential and commercial developments, schools and universities and factories. Among its commercial clients are Ali Baba and Tencent. It uses the latest technology and data analytics.
Says Lin: “It is difficult for people to manage people. So we use technology to manage people. Secondly, Vanke Services is not only to connect people. We also connect services.”
“We digitise every task, when, who and what was done and a report is uploaded automatically,” he says.
China Vanke entered into the property management sector officially in 2015 having started exploring after-sales services between 1990 and 1995.
As at Dec 31, 2018, the value of the total assets it is managing is RMB7.3 trillion versus RMB6.4 trillion in 2017.
China Vanke is seeking its fortunes beyond China. Within China, it has invested in a plethora of businesses other than property management, services such as elderly care. It has set up centres for the elderly care in different parts of China. It is also the only private developer with a focus on research and development (R&D), one in Shenzhen where it has a tropical greenhouse of more than 32,000 sq ft. It has another R&D centre in Beijing.
At the International Hoticultural Exhibition, the company also set up a tropical green house, also part of its R&D contribution.
Vanke invests 300 million yuan (RM175.7mil) in both R&D centres annually. Four years ago, it also invested in the logistics sector. Listed in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, it is known predominantly as a property developer and property management company, although it has various other businesses on the side.
Note: China Vanke will be holding a 5km Run for Fun event on Nov 2 at the Perdana Botanical Gardens Kuala Lumpur. In 2018, its Run for Fun event covered 44 Chinese cities.
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