Auction of action star Jackie Chan’s luxury apartments in Beijing withdrawn
Published: Sep 28, 2020 04:11 PM

Jackie Chan (right) waves during the opening ceremony of the Asian Film and TV Week in 2019. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The auction of Chinese martial arts star Jackie Chan's two luxury apartments in downtown Beijing, originally scheduled for 10 am on Monday, was reportedly withdrawn by the court due to "objection from outsiders." 

Some insiders said the decision to suspend the auction was made on September 25, and it is still unknown whether it will be rescheduled, Nanfang Metropolis Daily reported. 

The two apartments — now worth 120 million yuan ($17.59 million) — came into dispute as the ownership has never been completely transferred from the developer (Yujia Real Estate) to Chan since his purchase, and the apartments were seized by the authorities to pay debts owed by Yujia, alongside Yujia's other assets.

Chan issued a statement through his agency on September 6 after the auction drew widespread attention from the public, which noted he had already filed a lawsuit concerning the properties. It said that it was not convenient to disclose more details to the public as the litigation was still ongoing.

Chan bought the apartments in 2006 for 33.6 million yuan. However, the superstar only paid 13 million yuan at the time, and the remaining 20.6 million was offset by the endorsement fees that Yujia needed to pay Chan for being the spokesperson of the residential complex with the two apartments.

The transfer of ownership for the properties, however, had never been completed. Reports said that Yujia negotiated with Chan in private to not transfer the ownership as they were worried that the low transaction price would result in questions from the public, an arrangement to which Chan agreed.

However, Yujia was sued in 2014 by another developer, Tenhong Real Estate, in a dispute over payments, and the latter applied to the court to receive the payment. A Beijing court seized some of the real properties and parking spaces in the complex by Yujia in 2017, which also included Chan's apartments.

Chan and his company that purchased the apartments later raised objections over the seizure from 2018 to 2019, and tried to prove the company's ownership. Tenhong then applied for a lawsuit to a higher court in February this year, claiming that Chan's side bears fault for not completing the ownership and Chan's evidence cannot prove the company's ownership of the apartments.

The court finally refuted the requirement from Chan's company to stop the seizure.

The developer Yujia has been involved in multiple disputes and lawsuits since 2014, and is unsurprisingly debt-ridden. Its properties in the complex have been repeatedly sealed up for auction. 

A Beijing court in July ordered the confiscation of Yujia's estates, ordering them to be sold.

The company was also fined 93.35 million yuan by Beijing's tax administration for having evaded the paying of 7.699 million yuan in taxes from 2008 to 2015 in a 2015 audit. 

The two departments, covering an area of 1,217.5 square meters, are located in downtown Beijing's Dongcheng district. It was set to be auctioned with a starting price of 71.91 million yuan, according to the auction website.

Chan and his family, including his son Jaycee Chan, have been living in the houses since 2007. The apartments had previously come under spotlight when Jaycee Chan was caught hosting others taking drugs in the residence in 2014.