Design Alert: Potential China Scam

Design Alert: Potential China Scam

by | Work/News

It sounded too good to be true – an invitation to build a large office tower and sustainable housing project in China. But when several architects discovered that they’d signed on for the same identical piece of work, everyone smelled a rat. No one has lost much money, yet. So the mystery is, why?

We’d like to advise our local design colleagues of this potential scam which came across our radar last week. It has touched some local design firms as well as in New York. About six months ago, several architects were contacted by a group called the Haoshun Investment Company about an office/housing complex in China’s Henan Province. Yet, after signing contracts and traveling all the way to China, they’ve all come back empty-handed.

Although no one has lost much in the way of money, yet, it’s very disturbing to have one’s hopes raised only to have the deal vanish and wither away. The motive remains a mystery – the architects haven’t laid out any money other than airfare, and no one knows who the real target could possibly be, or why anyone would engage in such an elaborate pretense. Still, we advise our colleagues to be cautious.

Here’s a link to the full story, such as it is:


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2 Responses to “Design Alert: Potential China Scam”

  1. lance carlson

    22. Apr, 2011

    We have been in discussions with a Chinese firm about a large project in NW China. We are at the point of signing a contract when they insisted on our travel to the site. It seems very similar to the multiple NY firms who were all responding to the same project.. We really would like to have the work, but have asked them to fund the “contract ” trip, which i suspect will be the deal breaker……..if in fact there is a deal to be had.
    frustrated in ATL

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