Song Guoqiang: death at an R&F construction site

“Song Guoqiang was responsible for the command of the No. 2 tower crane signal during his lifetime.” – photo of R&F construction site, via Chinanews.[i]

In previous posts, we discussed worker mistreatment in San Jose by a subcontractor of an R&F affiliate (see here and here), the largest private owner of Marriott hotels in China. R&F has had similarly serious issues with treatment of workers in China – including a construction site death.

According to Chinanews and Sina, on July 11th, 2018, migrant worker Song Guoqiang collapsed at his workspace at an R&F construction site in Nanchan, in the province of Jiangxi. Song was in a coma for 83 days and was declared dead on October 3rd, 2018.[ii] Song’s family claimed that prior to the incident Song worked continuously for over 90 days at the construction site, 16 hours a day.[iii]

An investigation by Chinanews revealed that Song was employed by R&F under precarious terms.[iv] At the time of the incident Song was working on the construction of the R&F-backed Jinyuyue City project.[v] The construction contractor retained by R&F was Guangzhou Tianli Construction Limited, a subsidiary of R&F.[vi] Chinanews reported that Song was a migrant worker without any prior training, yet on the day of the incident he was working as crane operator, which requires special certification.[vii] He had not signed an employment contract as mandated by law, and did not purchase accident insurance.[viii]

Song’s medical bills became a point of contention between his family and Guangzhou Tianli. Song accumulated approximatively RMB 170,000 of medical debt (about USD$24,723[ix]), of which R&F paid RMB 22,000.[x] According to the family, due to their inability to pay for the medical fees, as of November 11th, 2018, they have been unable to access the body of the deceased.[xi] The family demanded RMB 150,000 for compensation from R&F.[xii] Guangzhou Tianli denied responsibility, citing Song’s lack of employment contract or lack of crane operating permits.[xiii] The company also claimed that Song was working under a false name.[xiv]



[i] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[ii] “富力地产陷高周转旋涡 负债2700亿等同广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/6/18, ; “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[iii] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[iv] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[v] “富力地产的至暗时刻 负债2863亿超过广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/7/18,

[vi] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[vii] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[viii][viii] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[ix] Based on exchange rate of RMB 6.876 to USD$1.00. Treasury Reporting Rates of Exchange as of 12/31/18, US Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service, retrieved 4/11/19.

[x]  “富力地产陷高周转旋涡 负债2700亿等同广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/6/18,

[xi] “富力地产的至暗时刻 负债2863亿超过广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/7/18,

[xii] “富力地产南昌工地:一位民工“非正常死亡”前后”, 中新网江西新闻, 11/5/18,

[xiii] “富力地产陷高周转旋涡 负债2700亿等同广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/6/18,

[xiv] “富力地产陷高周转旋涡 负债2700亿等同广州负债限额”, Sina Finance, 11/6/18,