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Chinese interest in islands a 'shore' thing
Brief:Wealthy Chinese have shown growing interest in overseas islands in recent years.
Fiji's island
 
Four islands in Fiji, Greece, the United Kingdom and Canada were put up for auction on China's largest online shopping platform Taobao, with three of them sold within 12 hours.

Any Chinese citizen who put up a 1,000 yuan ($159) deposit was qualified to bid. Starting at 10 am on Wednesday, at least 48 bidders took part in the auction.

Except for the UK property, which had a starting price of 4 million yuan and was not sold, the other three islands had a starting price of only 1 yuan. The island in Fiji was sold with 99-year rental property rights while the others were sold freehold.

When the auction ended at 10 pm on Wednesday, a construction magnate in Yunnan province had bought the islands in Greece and Canada for 4.8 million yuan and 1.7 million yuan, respectively.

A businessman in Zhejiang province bought the island in Fiji for 5 million yuan, according to Beijing-based Ilongterm, the real estate firm that held the auction.
 
According to Lin Dong, founder of the China Island Owners Association, wealthy Chinese have shown growing interest in overseas islands in recent years.

Islands in China come with many restrictions on their use and just 50 years of ownership. But most overseas islands are sold freehold. Wealthy Chinese bought at least seven overseas islands in 2014.
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