I really love to see the power of the Internet. Thanks to our postings on Ali Baba and here, we managed to get this UK business man out of Guilin and the hands of Guilin Youlianshiye Co.…Too bad he had to fly out there but at least they never got the “loot” (never actually had a chance to use that word..) 🙂
Hi, I am one of those suckers who have just visited Guilin Youlianshiye Co. We received an order of over US$500,000 for chandeliers manufactured in the UK and received the letter of invitation and a draft contract. I was asked to visit Guilin to sign the contract “because it was their tradition”. I booked my own flight and hotel. They picked me up in the morning and took me to their premises. Their young female interpreter explained that their Financial Director had to visit our premises in London to make sure he was confident we could produce the work. If he was happy he would authorise the payment of the deposit. She said the FD would expect to be looked after well in London and would want special benfits. When I asked what type of benefits, she said he collected art of up and coming young Chinese artists. She said she could take me to a gallery where I could purchase a piece which I could take back to London to give him when he came over to see me. She suggested some art was available for around 20,000 yuan (about 1,400 stirling). I was due to return the next day to sign the contract. I emailed my wife in the UK and told her I thought it was a scam and she searched through the internet and found your subject on Alibaba, I just wish I had found it before I jumped on a plane! Obviously, I did not return to sign the contract. Does anyone know who I should report this to? Everyone I spoke to out there suggested there is very little in the way of business in Guilin other than tourism. Got off the plane this morning a bit wiser!
Once in a while you come across some cute Internet scams, this is one I call The Visit To China, Buying Center Scam.
This is the Chinese latest scam online and its geared towards small and medium businesses. The idea is simple. You approach a business as a Buying Center in the city of Guilin, China (apparently the new Lagos, Nigeria), and you claim to be interested in a large test order of anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000. You provide a URL and full contact information so this looks half decent. Of course the greed kicks in and you ignore some obvious signs; like the fact that the person writing you is using a Hotmail account and that the email addresses on the site are also Hotmail. The fact that this is a Chinese company buying products for thousands of dollars without even negotiating on the terms. They agree to wire the money and provide a Letter of Credit and everything. AND….here is the catch. You need to come to China to sign the big, fat contract.
Now people that have actually gone (and many have), find that while they are there, they get the hotel arrangement and city tours all arranged by the “company” (for a commission no doubt). Also, they ask the seller to buy a gift for the CEO of the company (apparently an “old Chinese custom”) and the gift is normally $5,000-10,000. Of course the hosts are gracious and nice the whole time. Then the signing happens and the happy seller goes home and that’s it. He never hears from them again.
I was told that this is a capital offence in China and I just hope the authorities catch these people and provide them with their just reward. I think that encouraging tourism is nice but there must be better ways.
To the “business owners” – If something looks to good to be true – IT IS !!
Here are some of the names and contact details these companies operate under:
Guilinyoulianshiye Co. LTD
Second floor 48 dong Luandong district,
Guilin Guangxi China 541004
GuiLin ShengJing (International) Investment
Guilin Shengjing International Investment Co.
Room 418 ,Nancheng Shopping Mall
26 Lijiang Rd.,Qixing District,
Tele : 0086-7735815366