Despite Beijing’s golf course moratorium, some big developers have continued to show a remarkable ability to manage and massage guanxi with local government officials. Without the right connections, it would never have been possible to operate on the grand scale needed to build a golf resort. And managing and massaging guanxi was often a very tangible business. Sources familiar with one company said that before launching a large golf course construction project in Guangdong, the developer outfitted the local police department with a new fleet of motorcycles. On Hainan island, it was said the company built the county a brand new government office building during the negotiations over another large golf-related development. That land deal fell through, but the building, or at least the shell of it, remained. “It’s sitting there like a big old white elephant,” a local source said. “That’s development in China right there.”

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