We’ve all heard about the bootleg Chinese golf clubs (and movies, software, books, etc—is there any intellectual property they won’t steal?). But who would have thought about bootleg golf courses.
Golf apparently is so popular in China that developers are building illegal courses in defiance of a 2004 moratorium on their construction. According to the UK Guardian:
Chinese officials have promised to crack down on illegal golf courses, threatening harsh punishment to developers catering to “the rich man’s game” at the expense of much-needed farmland.
Demand for courses is soaring as the country’s newly wealthy adopt the sport. But officials hope that a satellite system to check the illicit use of land will help them to identify unapproved venues, state media reported today.
There are apparently 500 courses now, but that number is expected to rise to 2,700 by 2015.
I wonder what the punishment is for maintaining an illegal golf course. If they’re accused of using farmland and starving the poor to play a game, they had better watch out; two Chinese businessmen recently were executed for their role in producing tainted milk.