VILLAGERS in Jiangyin City in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province have been given
100-gram bars of gold and silver to celebrate the 40th anniversary of a
village-owned business. The Jiangsu Xin Chang Jiang Group, one of the top 20
private enterprises in China,distributed 300 kilograms of gold and 300 kilograms
of silver last Saturday to the nearly 3,000 residents of Changjiang Village.
The village also gave each household a safe to store their valuables, the Modern
Express newspaper reported yesterday. For security reasons, the village officials
had kept secret when the precious metals would be handed out. Every family in the
villagers was given a safe on March 15, triggering speculation that the gold would
soon arrive. Two days later they were told they could collect their bars at noon.
“Bingo! Let’s go to get our gold,” one villager was quoted as saying. Another
villager, surnamed Zhou, was first in the queue, the report said.”It’s heavy and real,
” Zhou said of her gold bar with dragon icon. Another, surnamed Zhao, was so happy he
immediately took a picture of his gold and e-mailed it to his son. One large family
received 700 grams of gold, a village official said. He said the retail price of gold had recently hit 400 yuan (US$64) per gram.Many families said they would have gold rings made for their daughters and keep the remaining gold as an heirloom.
“Unmarried young men and women in our village are very popular because of our wealth,
” a villager surnamed Sun told Xinhua news agency, adding that he planned to give a gold
bar to his future son-in-la. In previous years, the company built houses for villagers
and distributed shares and cash dividends. Last year, it spent 64,000 yuan on decorating
the gates of the villagers’ villas.
The Jiangsu Xin Chang Jiang Group is involved in eight industries including electricity,
metals and chemicals. Changjiang Village is among several rich villages in Jiangsu
Province.Huaxi Village, also in Jiangyin City, once China’s richest, gained its wealth
from steel and fabric factories, among other enterprises.The average annual income of a
Huaxi villager was 85,000 yuan in 2010, comparing to around 32,000 yuan for an average
In a drive to boost economic growth with tourism, it spent 3 billion yuan building the
74-story five-star Long Hope International Hotel which, at 328 meters, is China’s eighth
tallest building. A huge golden globe on top, glittering under the sun, can be seen from
several kilometers away.