And finally… Chinese fugitive’s skyscraper sold on online auction site

A 44-storey skyscraper in Beijing has been sold for £610 million in an online auction after being seized by the government from its fugitive owner, The Times reports.

Image by Cory Denton [CC BY 2.0]

Authorities confiscated Pangu No 5 tower in 2016 after Guo Wengui fled the country amid corruption investigations. Its sale on the auction site of Taobao, China’s answer to eBay, was far below its market value of £870 million.

Pangu No 5 featured briefly in the 2014 film Transformers: Age of Extinction and is home to many corporate offices, including IBM.

The 24-hour auction drew only two bidders, although 145,000 watched it online. The buyer was Yucheng Zhiye, a property development and management company.

The building was confiscated three years ago after Mr Guo’s company ignored a court order to repay loans and interest.

Mr Guo, 50, fled into exile in the United States in 2014. He has since become an outspoken critic of the Chinese government.