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Chinese investors scooping up golf courses near Myrtle Beach
Brief:Spurred by their government’s relaxed foreign investment regulations in recent years, Chinese investors are spending it in other countries, with the U.S. the biggest single destination.
The owners of Classic Golf Group’s three courses did not have their properties listed for sale last year, but they were quietly shopping them in the Myrtle Beach golf market – quite unsuccessfully.

“You had a few low, really insulting offers that really weren’t offers,” said Ed Jerdon, a partner in the courses.

Then the owners were contacted by Jane Zheng, the Keller Williams Myrtle Beach Realtor who represented the Chinese family that had purchased their former course, Black Bear Golf Club, earlier last summer. She had a new group of investors from China who might be interested in their properties.

After a short period of negotiation, Jerdon’s group sold the Founders Club of Pawleys Island, Indian Wells Golf Club and Burning Ridge Golf Club in September for about $11 million – much more than anyone else in the market was willing, and in many cases able, to pay.

“As far as selling a golf property now it depends on the purchaser, whether they can even get financing,” Jerdon said. “The Chinese, they came with cash ... and they continue to buy.”

Jerdon’s experience is becoming more commonplace as well in other parts of the United States.

China’s companies and a significant number of its 1.4 billion people have to varying degrees amassed wealth over years of impressive growth. Spurred by their government’s relaxed foreign investment regulations in recent years, they are spending it in other countries, with the U.S. the biggest single destination.

Over the past couple years, they increasingly have been investing in U.S. real estate, key industries such as energy and information and communication technology, and in Myrtle Beach area businesses such as golf courses and the former Waccamaw Pottery.

“China has too much money right now. [The government] is encouraging companies to invest overseas,” said China native Xian “Nick” Dou, a New York City immigration attorney and partner in Yiqian Funding, the Chinese investment company that purchased Classic Golf Group’s courses and five more since then. “... They have a lot of money, and where to go? Go overseas.”
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