Speaking of Europe, the Palace of Versailles has also been in the news this week, with many Chinese asking if it has been moved to Harbin. Photos of the headquarters of Harbin Pharmaceutical Group have been circulating on the internet, showing interiors with painted angels, gold leaf wallpaper and room designs worthy of Louis XIV himself. The imitation palace has stirred a mixture of bemusement and outrage, given the firm is state-owned. CCTV anchor Li Xiaomeng said on her blog: “According to Ministry of Finance data, state-owned enterprises realised a total profit of nearly Rmb2 trillion in 2010, but paid only a 5% dividend to the government. It is said the state-owned firms are the people’s enterprises, so people should know how the the profit is used.”
The company’s rather unlikely response? That the palace is not a corporate HQ at all, but actually intended as China’s largest woodblock print museum. “We built it for the public good,” insisted Harbin Pharma’s PR department.
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