BYD built a factory on land it didn’t legally own. This happens a lot in China and usually the land-ownership can be settled easily after construction on that land has started or even later when a factory is ready. In BYD’s case however autorities decided to uphold to the letter of the law.
This can have several reasons: BYD did something that annoyed the government, or the government uses BYD as an example in a campaign to enforce existing laws more strictly, this kind of campains comes and goes but never makes much difference… See below for the very short press release from the Chinese government, via GlobalTimes:
“China’s Ministry of Land and Resources said Wednesday it will fine BYD Co 2.9 million yuan ($434,600) and close several buildings on land the company used illegally in Shaanxi Province.
BYD started construction on the land from December 2009 and has built roads and seven buildings there, including plants and an employee dormitory.”
uh oh, Buffet won’t be happy, guess BYD tried to do far too much in too little time.