R&F collaborating with conglomerate Poly Group, which owns a weapons manufacturer, on a downtown LA residential tower

1133 Hope, as depicted on Z&L Properties’ website.[i]

This post is part of a series on Chinese real estate company R&F’s activities in the US. R&F is the largest private owner of Marriott hotels in China See previous posts on forced labor involved in the construction of a San Jose condo tower here and here.

R&F affiliate Z&L Properties has acquired a substantial portfolio of real estate projects across California, including San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara.[ii]

Z&L’s website does not disclose which properties are joint ventures or who their partners are. The 1133 Hope in downtown Los Angeles, an under-construction residential and retail tower with a planned 208 units,[iii] is jointly owned by the Chinese conglomerate Poly Group. Poly Real Estate, a subsidiary of Poly Group listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, listed a 50% interest in the 1133 Hope project in its report for the second quarter of 2018.[iv]

What is Poly Group?

Poly Group is a Chinese conglomerate with a broad range of business interests, including real estate, cultural exchanges, and art exhibitions. On Guandian’s 2018 list of China’s top 100 developers by sales, Poly ranked 5th (R&F ranked 20th).[v] One growing portion of Poly’s activities is a powerhouse international auction company that sells high-end fine art.[vi] R&F and Poly both own Marriott hotels in China.

Poly Group’s most well-known subsidiary, Poly Technologies, is a weapons manufacturer and international arms dealer. The company has a long history of arms trading around the world.[vii] In 2013, Poly Technologies was sanctioned by the US government under the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).[viii] The act imposes sanctions against foreign entities engaging in transfer to or acquisition from Iran, North Korean or Syria of equipment or technology controlled under multilateral control lists, or items contributing to the developments of WMD or ballistic missile systems.[ix] As of April 2, 2019, Poly Technologies was still listed as a sanctioned entity by the State Department.[x]

The New York Times glossed the wide-ranging nature of Poly’s businesses in a description of Poly’s Beijing office tower, “where visitors can shop for a painting on the third floor or a missile system on the 27th.”[xi]

 

 

[i] 1133 Hope, Z&L Properties, retrieved 4/2/19. http://zlproperties.com/project/1133-hope/.

[ii] Portfolio, Z&L Properties, retrieved 4/1/19. http://zlproperties.com/portfolio/.

[iii] 1133 Hope, Z&L Properties, retrieved 4/2/19. http://zlproperties.com/project/1133-hope/.

[iv] 保利房地产(集团)股份有限公司2018 年半年度报告, p. 22.

[v] “销售金额TOP100点评,” Guandian, 3/19/19. http://www.guandian.cn/article/20190319/215472.html

[vi] Graham Bowley and David Barboza, “China’s Art Market Powerhouse Complicates Reform Efforts,” New York

Times (Chinese edition), 12/17/13. https://cn.nytimes.com/art/20131217/t17poly/en-us/.

[vii] See: Jim Mann and Ronald Ostrow, “U.S. Seizes Assault Arms as Smuggling by China Is Probed,” LA Times, 5/23/96. http://articles.latimes.com/1996-05-23/news/mn-7422_1_assault-weapons; Cecilia Duggar, “Zimbabwe Arms Shipped by China Spark an Uproar,” New York Times, 4/19/08. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/19/world/africa/19zimbabwe.html; Oscar Nkala, “US, Britain and France halt Chinese weapons delivery to CAR,” DefenceWeb, 6/28/18. http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52198

[viii] US State Department Public Notice 8184 [Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Imposition of

Nonproliferation Measures Against Foreign Persons, Including a Ban on U.S. Government Procurement], Federal

Register, 2/11/13. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2013/02/11/2013-03030/bureau-of-internationalsecurity-and-nonproliferation-imposition-of-nonproliferation-measures

[ix] “Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act Sanctions (INKSNA),” US State Department, retrieved

10/30/18. https://www.state.gov/t/isn/inksna/

[x] Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act: Imposed Sanctions, US Department of State, updated 5/29/13

(retrieved 4/2/19). https://www.state.gov/t/isn/inksna/c28836.htm.

[xi] Graham Bowley and David Barboza, “China’s Art Market Powerhouse Complicates Reform Efforts,” New York

Times (Chinese edition), 12/17/13. https://cn.nytimes.com/art/20131217/t17poly/en-us/.