Luxury hotel resort Amanyangyun probed for suspected false promotion, illegally transplanting ancient trees

Transplanting ancient trees under China's top class protection or over 100 years from elsewhere is banned.

Shanghai's market watchdog and greenery authorities are conducting investigation into Amanyangyun, an Aman resort in Minhang District, for suspected false promotion after it was exposed to use exaggerated and misleading description and for suspected violation of regulations protecting ancient trees.

Aman said on its official website that the resort, scheduled to open next month in Maqiao Town, is surrounded by 1,150 ancient camphor trees transferred from Fuzhou City in Jiangxi Province.

The website also said the resort is home to some restored buildings built in the Ming and Qing dynasties disassembled and transferred from Jiangxi to Shanghai.

Experts with the city's greenery authorities said the term "ancient tree" is only applicable to trees over 100 years, and most trees at the resort do not meet the condition.

The Shanghai Industry and Commerce Administration said investigation has started after media exposure on Friday.

The resort's website also mentioned that a total of 10,000 ancient trees were transferred to Shanghai. However, the resort operator said after media exposure that the remaining 9,000 trees are not located inside the resort.

Ge Zhihao, a lawyer in Shanghai, said “untrue and exaggerated content in press release which misleads consumers can be deemed as false promotion.”

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said it had also started investigation on Friday. Transplanting ancient trees under China's top class protection or over 100 years from elsewhere is banned by Shanghai's regulations over the protection of old trees, and violators can face a fine of up to 100,000 yuan (US$15,384) per tree.

Transplanting old trees cross cities will likely lead to their death due to long time transportation and adaptability to the environment, experts said.

Amanyangyun is Aman's fourth resort in China and is scheduled to open in early January.

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