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Thread: Economic State of Shaolin Temple today

  1. #46
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    Shaolin franchises?

    Shaolin has sent representative troupes to many temples across China, but this is the first I've heard of them taking over one (or four). I haven't chased down the original source story yet, so I'll remain a little skeptical.
    Shaolin monks take over Yunnan temples
    By Chen Qian | 2009-9-15

    VISITORS to four temples in southwest China's Yunnan Province will soon experience Shaolin kung fu after the famous Shaolin temple has taken over their management.

    The four 2,000-year-old temples in Guandu District of Kunming, the capital, will open to the public in the name of Guandu Shaolin Temple free from tomorrow, reported Website e.kunming.cn.

    The 1,500-year-old Shaolin temple took over the day-to-day management of the four Kunming temples from November 24 last year under a trusteeship agreement over the next 20 years.

    "Cultural tourism will surely be boosted by the fame of Shaolin temple," said Dou Weibao, the commissioner of ethnic and religious affairs in Guandu District.

    Currently there are 46 monks in the Guandu temples and more than 80 people from Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces are studying martial arts there.

    The 5-yuan (75 US cents) admission fee for the four temples was scrapped to encourage more visitors, according to the report.

    Shaolin temple in Henan Province is famous for its association with Chinese martial arts. Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin temple, denied the trusteeship model was too commercial although the action has received plenty of online criticism.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #47
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    More on Kunming

    The Guandu Shaolin Temples
    Rebranded Shaolin temples open today
    Wednesday, 16th September 2009
    Chris

    Today four temples in Kunming's Guandu district officially reopened under management by Shaolin Temple, the temple where kung fu is believed to have originated. The temples have been rebranded as "Guandu Shaolin Temples" according to a Shanghai Daily report.

    Shaolin Temple abbot Shi Yongxin (释永信) signed a trusteeship agreement last November with Kunming's Guandu district government to take over management of four ancient temples in Guandu: Miaozhan Temple (妙湛寺), Tuzhu Temple (土主庙), Fading Temple (法定寺), and Guanyin Temple (观音寺).

    Under the agreement, Shaolin Temple will operate the temples for 20 years. At present there are 46 Shaolin monks in the Guandu temples, which are now free to the public. Admission had formerly been five yuan.

    In exchange for taking over management duties at the four temples, Shaolin Temple will receive all profits generated by the temples via sales of religious paraphernalia, religious texts and any donations made by visitors. Shaolin would also get all the money generated by ticket sales should it reinstate entry fees.
    Shaolin Temple to take over management at four Kunming temples
    Wednesday, 26th November 2008
    Chris

    Shaolin Temple (少林寺), the famed temple in Henan province where kung fu is said to have been invented, is going into the temple management business, starting in Kunming.

    The temple's abbot Shi Yongxin (释永信) signed an agreement earlier this week with Kunming's Guandu district to take over management of four ancient temples in Kunming: Miaozhan Temple (妙湛寺), Tuzhu Temple (土主庙), Fading Temple (法定寺), and Guanyin Temple (观音寺).

    According to Kunming media reports, this new 'Yunnan Shaolin' is expected to serve as a platform through which the temple will transmit 'Shaolin Culture' to South and Southeast Asia. Ten monks from Shaolin Temple will be dispatched to the four Kunming temples, where they will manage business with the goal of attracting tourists.

    The reported terms of the 20-year agreement between Shaolin Temple and the Guandu district are for Shaolin to take over management of the four Kunming temples in exchange for all the profits generated by the temples via ticket sales, sales of religious paraphernalia, religious texts and any donations made by visitors.

    Eric Mu at Danwei explains that Shaolin's Shi is facing growing criticism for his business-oriented approach to running the temple.

    Shi Yongxin said that the influence of the Shaolin brand will give a significant boost to the popularity of these temples. He denied that the takeover was part of expansion plans at his own temple, as well as the charge that he is running the temple like a chain store.

    Earlier this year, Shaolin was criticized for opening an online store selling a variety of Shaolin-related products, including a book priced at 9,999 yuan that purportedly contained the temple's kung fu and medicinal secrets.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #48
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    Stock in Shaolin?

    How does the PRC stock market work, I wonder?
    Local government denies listing plan for Shaolin Temple
    www.chinaview.cn 2009-12-17 22:10:22

    ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese local government on Thursday denied reports that it was trying to have the world-famous Shaolin Temple listed in the stock market in two years.

    The government of Dengfeng, Henan Province, admitted in a statement that it was negotiating with China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (HKCTS) on cooperation in tourism of Songshan Mountain, home to the Shaolin Temple, but said "no formal contract has been inked yet."

    "Sixteen cultural relics of national and provincial levels, including the Shaolin Temple, in the area will not be managed by the new joint venture," the statement said.

    According to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post, the Dengfeng city government has signed a framework agreement with the Hong Kong-based company to establish a joint venture with 100 million yuan (14.7 million U.S. dollars), which was to manage the tourism-related assets of the 1,500-year-old temple.

    The newspaper said that the HKCTS would take a 51-percent stake and the venture is to be listed in 2011.

    The report sparked criticism on the Dengfeng government, as critics say it is selling state assets at a low price and the agreement would hurt the feelings of Shaolin monks and religious people.

    "We are against being listed and this attitude will never change," said Qian Daliang, head of the intellectual property and intangible assets management center of Shaolin Temple, who often acts as spokesman for Shaolin's abbot Shi Yongxin.

    In an interview with Xinhua, Qian noted that Shaolin Temple and Shaolin culture belonged to all the people and "should be enjoyed by all, thus whether to be listed should be decided by the public instead of the local authorities."

    Shaolin, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.

    Shi Yongxin has also earned himself the nickname the "CEO monk" since he officially took over as abbot in 1999.

    However, he had repeatedly pledged that "Shaolin Temple was not an enterprise, its value was beyond measurement, and it is never to be listed."

    He has submitted proposals several times to the national legislature, suggesting the exemption of entrance fees at religious tourist attractions to promote cultural protection.

    The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.
    Shaolin temple of kung-fu monks to sell shares in China

    Shaolin monks are famous around the world

    The ancient Shaolin temple - famous for its fighting kung-fu monks - will soon be a part of the stock market.

    The government body responsible for the 1,500-year-old temple's tourism will be part of a joint-venture to sell shares in Hong Kong or China.

    The share sale could raise up to 1bn yuan ($146.4m).

    The deal calls for China Travel Service to invest 100m yuan towards a venture under the Shaolin name that will handle services such as ticket sales.

    The deal would also include the cable car, cinemas, hotels and tourist bus services in Dengfeng, in the Chinese province of Henan, where the temple is based.

    The temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, took over in the 1990s and has aggressively promoted the Shaolin brand, acting as executive producer in martial arts films based on the temple and upgrading temple facilities for tourists.
    Buddhist monk eyes opening kung fu world
    By PAUL THARP
    Last Updated: 4:42 AM, December 17, 2009
    Posted: 1:48 AM, December 17, 2009

    The sacred temple where kung fu was born some 1,500 years ago to spawn centuries of undefeated masters is at last surrendering to the almighty buck.

    Critics were kicking and screaming in outrage yesterday over plans to sell stock in the ancient monastery and turn it into a garish tourist attraction to cash in on the sport's popularity.

    The kung fu amusement park would feature bikini-clad beauty pageants, Las Vegas-styled martial-arts shows, souvenir shops and posh hotels.

    The controversial plan to convert the storied Shaolin Temple -- in a picturesque mountain town in the Henan Province -- is said to be the main priority of the temple's current monk, Shi Yongxin.

    Sources said the so-called "CEO of Shaolin Temple" is partnering with the state-run tourist agency, China Travel Services.

    The martial-arts shrine would likely become involved in kung fu films, which have made an international comeback recently with a new generation of kung fu stars and improved film production in China and Hong Kong.

    The monk got the idea to go Hollywood after seeing 1.6 million tourists pack into the remote temple's grounds last year on pilgrimages, paying about $23 a ticket just to see a half-hour, smack-down kung fu exhibition.

    Critics said the squat, 44-year-old monk, who's headed the temple for a decade, has regularly been allowing profiteers and promoters to turn kung fu and Zen Buddhism into crassly commercial projects to raise much-needed capital for rebuilding the ancient buildings and to develop other temples.

    Despite his nickname, Shi says he's not interested in making big profits but only wanted to raise the public profile of Zen Buddhism and its kung fu disciplines.

    "I'm not a businessman," he told the Times of London. "I don't hold shares."

    Recently, a hacker broke into the temple's Web site to post a fake apology from Shi for corrupting the temple and its principles.

    Shi said he isn't planning to take legal action over the damaging stunt.

    "As monks, we should focus only on our Buddhist disciplines. We are not excited about filing lawsuits."
    Shaolin Temple ticketing venture plans listing
    * Source: Global Times
    * [17:12 December 17 2009]

    A joint venture which would be authorized to sell Shaolin Temple tickets may be publicly listed on the Hong Kong or Shanghai market, according to media reports Wednesday.

    The reports said Dengfeng municipal government of Henan province, where the temple is located, signed a framework agreement with China Travel Service (HK) on October 21 to establish a joint venture named Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Culture and Travel Company.

    According to the agreement, the two sides will invest 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) in the new joint venture which will go public on the Hong Kong or Shanghai bourse by 2011.

    The Hong Kong travel company will hold a 51 percent stake in the venture and the Dengfeng government holding the remaining 49 percent of the company that will sells tickets to Shaolin Temple and nearby sites.

    The venture would regulate all ticket sales, hotels, cable cars, movie theaters, and tourism at the temple and the agreement will be effective for 40 years.

    But the temple part of the complex was not involved in the negotiation process since the government did not inform the people at the temple.

    "The government did not inform the Shaolin Temple part know the agreement, because we haven't announced the operation to the public yet," said Cui Shiying, the head of the Dongfeng city party committee's publicity department.

    The possible listing of Shaolin Temple led to an array of opinions.

    Hong Liang, travel economist from China Galaxy Securities, pointed out that if the income from tickets sells does not belong to Shaolin Temple, it will be a great challenge for its further development since the income from admission tickets makes up the majority of the temple's income.

    "Although the temple has some derived industries like martial arts school, but the incomes from these are just a small part," he said.

    Executive director of China NPO Network Shang Yusheng pointed out that the listing of the temple's assets have some issues that need to be clarified, such as the temple property.

    Hong also said that Shaolin Temple should be a national asset, not of Shaolin Temple itself or of the local government, and the local government does not have the right to make the decision on its own.

    He added that the local government's plans could result in a negative perception of the temple, the 1,500-year-old shrine where kung fu was born, and the spiritual home of some of China's most formidable martial art exponents.

    Ticket sales at Shaolin Temple average 150 million yuan annually.

    Cui responded Thursday that the media reports of the "temple listing" is a misunderstanding of the issue. "The agreement we negotiated with the travel company is an overall cooperation project of the whole Songshang area, and Shaolin Temple is just one site in the area," he said, but did not disclose other details.

    Agencies and Li Na contributed to the story
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  4. #49
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    China's Shaolin monks plan deal with travel co.

    SHANGHAI - The famed fighting monks of China's Shaolin Temple next plan to tackle modern finance.

    The local government entity in charge of managing the 1,500-year-old Buddhist temple's tourism-related assets has agreed to cooperate with China Travel Service, a spokeswoman for the state-owned company said.

    News reports said the venture would seek to raise up to 1 billion yuan ($146.4 million) by listing shares on either a mainland or Hong Kong index.

    The Dongfeng government in central Henan province where the temple is located confirmed it was negotiating with China Travel Service on tourism cooperation but denied reports of a stock offering.

    "We are against being listed and this attitude will never change," Qian Daliang, head of the intellectual property and intangible assets management center of Shaolin Temple, told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

    China Travel Service (Holdings) Ltd., based in Hong Kong, did not comment on the report of a possible listing. It would issue an announcement later, said the company's spokeswoman, who gave only her surname, Zhang.

    Shaolin, its monks and their distinctive form of kung fu have developed into a lucrative business enterprise, raising controversy among some who disapprove of the commercialism of the temple's business-savvy abbot, Shi Yongxin.

    Since taking over as abbot in the 1990s, Shi has moved aggressively to promote and protect the Shaolin brand, threatening to sue companies that use the temple's name or image without permission and serving as executive producer for martial arts films centered on the temple.

    He also has sought to upgrade temple facilities — installing lavish visitor restrooms equipped with uniformed cleaners and TVs that brought still more criticism.

    The Shanghai-based newspaper Oriental Morning Post and other reports said the temple itself was not part of the negotiations between Dengfeng and China Travel Service.

    That deal calls for China Travel Service to invest 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) for a 51 percent stake in a venture under the Shaolin brand name that will handle sale of admission tickets, operate its cable car, cinemas, hotels and tourist bus services in Dengfeng, the state-run newspaper China Daily reported.

    ___
    from CNBC this morning

  5. #50
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    Shaolin and CTS preparing $85m IPO

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/c...epare-IPO.html

    I think this is absolutely awesome. Best sell out ever.

    More for Yong Xin's detractors to get heated about.

    I find it somewhat amusing that people get bent out of shape when Shaolin Si doesn't conform to their misguided expectations of what a modern temple should and shouldn't be.

    Arguments about the wealth of Shaolin Si having been going on for centuries.

    Using global profile to spread the traditional culture of 禪武 is ultimately a good thing.

    It is not for me to begrudge anyone for making money.

    I don't practice in order to argue politics.

  6. #51
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    The always forget the link. Geez
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/34458535/for/cnbc/
    Master of Shaolin I-Ching Bu Ti, GunGoPow and I Hung Wei Lo styles.

    I am seeking sparring partner. Any level. Looking for blondes or redhead. 5'2" to 5'9". Between 115-135 weight class. Females between 17-30 only need apply. Will extensively work on grappling.

  7. #52
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    The Vatican makes waaaaaay more than that!

    They are in the Billions.

    Millions is a lark. The pope walks around in solid gold bling.

    Don't see no one getting peed at that.

    weird world.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  8. #53
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    In the NYT

    At Monastery, Plans to Go Public
    December 18, 2009, 4:29 am

    The flying monks of Shaolin may soon learn how to float, as well.

    The holding company set to run the tourism-related assets of the Shaolin Temple may go public next year, The Oriental Morning Post, a Shanghai daily, reported Thursday.

    Dengfeng’s municipal government in Henan province, where the temple is located, has inked a deal with China Travel Service HK, a Hong Kong travel company, to invest 100 million renminbi ($14.64 million) to create the holding company under the Shaolin name, the newspaper said.

    The venture would seek to raise 800 million to 1 billion renminbi through several channels, including an I.P.O., the newspaper said, according to China Daily.

    The Shaolin Temple, historic center of Chinese Buddhism and kungfu, is run by the abbot Shi Yongxin, known as the “C.E.O. monk” because he earned an M.B.A. and is said to run the temple more like a business than a monastery.
    And on the BBC...
    Shaolin Temple denies flotation report

    Shaolin monks are famous around the world

    The ancient Shaolin temple - famous for its fighting kung-fu monks - has denied a report that it is planning to list on the stock exchange.

    The government body responsible for the 1,500-year-old temple's tourism said it was "absolutely untrue".

    However, the Dengfeng government said it was in talks with China Travel Service about a new tourism joint venture in the Songhan mountains.

    China Travel confirmed the talks but said it was too soon to comment.

    Many have criticised the commercialisation of the temple and the shrine's martial artist monks had opposed any share-listing plans.

    The temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, took over in the 1990s and has aggressively promoted the Shaolin brand, acting as executive producer in martial arts films based on the temple and upgrading temple facilities for tourists.
    Google lists nearly 90 news articles on this. I think the Abbot is proving himself to be a master of viral marketing.
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  9. #54
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    I'm beginning to think...

    ...that Abbot Yongxin is becoming a brilliant manipulator of web news.
    Company refutes rumors of managing Shaolin Temple
    By Zhao Chunzhe (chinadaily.com.cn)

    The opening ceremony for the "Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Culture and Travel Company" was held on Sunday. The new company will manage all tourism near the famous Shaolin Temple on Songshan Mountain in Henan, chinanews.cn reported. However, it will not manage the Shaolin temple itself.

    "The company will manage the Dengfeng Songshan scenic spot, not included the Shaolin Temple. The tickets of the Shaolin Temple won't change," said Xu Muhan, the vice president of the Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Culture and Travel Company.

    The Dengfeng municipal government of Henan province and the Hong Kong-based China Travel Service Group (CTS) have jointly invested in the company, which is worth a total of 100 million yuan ($14.6 million). The government will hold 49 percent of the company's stock, while CTS owns the remaining 51 percent.

    The abbot of Shaolin Temple did not attend the ceremony of the company, although there was a seat with his name on it.
    New company set up to promote Shaolin culture, tourism
    www.chinaview.cn 2009-12-27 23:44:21

    ZHENGZHOU, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- A new company was set up Sunday to promote the culture of the world-famous Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province and the tourism of Songshan Mountain, home to the 1,500-year-old temple.

    The CTS (Dengfeng) Songshan Shaolin Culture Tourism Co. Ltd. was established as a joint venture between the Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Culture Tourism Group Co. Ltd., which is owned by the Dengfeng city government in Henan, and the Hong Kong-based China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (HKCTS).

    The Hong Kong company takes a 51-percent stake and the Dengfeng company holds 49 percent of the new joint venture, which has a registered capital of 100 million yuan (14.7 million U.S. dollars).

    "In the next 10 years, we will greatly promote the tourism of the Songshan Mountain scenic spot, improve the infrastructure and upgrade the services," said Bo Baohua, board chairman of the new company, at an inauguration ceremony held in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan.

    "Meanwhile, we will greatly promote the Shaolin kungfu and culture," he said.

    CONTROVERSY ENDED

    The new joint venture had come under spotlight as earlier reports said the government of Dengfeng, where the Shaolin Temple lies, was trying to have the religious place listed in the stock market.

    The reports had sparked criticism on the Dengfeng government, as critics say it was selling state assets at a low price and the agreement would hurt the feelings of Shaolin monks and religious people.

    But the Dengfeng government had denied the reports in a statement earlier this month, saying "16 cultural relics of national and provincial levels, including the Shaolin Temple, in the area will not be managed by the new joint venture".

    Xu Muhan, vice general manager of the HKCTS, also refuted the reports Sunday.

    "The shares that our company holds are of the Songshan Mountain scenic spot, which does not include the Shaolin Temple," he told reporters.

    "Meanwhile, HKCTS itself is a state-owned company, so such an issue does not exist about selling state assets at a low price," he said.

    "In addition, we will protect the cultural heritage and religious places in tourism development," he added.

    The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.

    Shaolin, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.

    Shi Yongxin has also earned himself the nickname the "CEO monk" since he officially took over as abbot in 1999.

    However, he had repeatedly pledged that "Shaolin Temple was not an enterprise, its value was beyond measurement, and it is never to be listed."

    He has submitted proposals several times to the national legislature, suggesting the exemption of entrance fees at religious tourist attractions to promote cultural protection.

    Shi was absent from Sunday's inauguration ceremony, although he had been invited by the organizer.
    Dengfeng Launches JV to Promote Songshan Mountains Tourism
    Mon. December 28, 2009; Posted: 06:46 AM

    DENGFENG, Dec 28, 2009 (SinoCast Daily Business Beat via COMTEX) -- CVIWF | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- The municipal government of Dengfeng, Henan Province, is scheduled to inaugurate a tourism joint venture with China Travel International Investment

    Hong Kong Limited (SEHK: 0308) for the promotion of the scenic spots in Songshan Mountains, home to the time-honored Shaolin Temple, on December 27, 2009.

    With a registered capital of CNY 100 million, Shaolin Culture and Tourism Co., Ltd. (transliterated), will be 51% owned by the Hong Kong-based company and 49% taken by the municipal government of Dengfeng, according to a framework agreement the two sides entered earlier.

    The newborn company is about to manage and popularize the sparkling scenic spots in the Songshan Mountains in accordance with the local regulations, said Zheng Fulin, mayor of Dengfeng, noting that infrastructure in the scenic spots are excluded from the venture.

    Shaolin Culture and Tourism will raise CNY 800 million-CNY 1 billion over the following three years for scenic spot infrastructure construction and cultural tourism project development to beef up the core competitiveness of the Songshan Mountains in and out of the country, according to Mr. Zheng, without giving details.

    "The ticket price of the scenic spots including the Shaolin Temple will stay unchanged after the joint venture starts operation," said Mr. Zheng, "the formation of the venture will neither impact the cultural relics protection nor change the religious activities in the historic places here."

    Revenue from the scenic spots is expected to increase sharply as more tourists will come in the future, predicted Mr. Zheng, adding that the venture will leave the existing management measures unchanged. Currently, ticket sales from the Shaolin Temple alone stands at CNY 150 million a year.

    "There is no possibility for the Shaolin Temple to go public as reported since it is a cultural relics instead of an entity," said Xu Muhan, general manager for the Hong Kong-listed company, explaining that only a joint-stock company will have a chance to get listed on the stock market.

    There were widespread reports that the Shaolin Temple was gearing up for a listing on the stock market, striking worries about a possible negative perception of the 1,500-year-old Buddhist shrine where the Chinese kung fu was born.

    The temple has nothing to do with the newly established company, according to Huang Kun, legal consultant for the Shaolin Temple, echoing Mr. Xu. Nevertheless, the monastery, considered as the spiritual home of China's most formidable martial art exponents, has gone very far as a vehicle that market observers said had raked in handsomely from a series of commercial activities.

    (USD 1 = CNY 6.83)
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  10. #55
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    Welcome to New China's Capitalism...let's not forget the abbot was appointed by the government of China.

  11. #56
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    "Despite his nickname, Shi says he's not interested in making big profits but only wanted to raise the public profile of Zen Buddhism and its kung fu disciplines.
    __________________________________________________ ______________

    yeah,
    and McDonald's only wants to raise the public profile of gourmet cuisine.
    "My Gung-Fu may not be Your Gung-Fu.
    Gwok-Si, Gwok-Faht"

    "I will not be part of the generation
    that killed Kung-Fu."

    ....step.

  12. #57
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    More...

    This article almost distills the last few posts on this thread, except maybe my last one...
    Shaolin Temple aims for IPO in 2011
    By Wang Fangqing.
    Dec 30, 2009

    A recent story revealed a draft of an agreement regarding listing a Shaolin Temple in Hong Kong and it's stirred a major debate in China.

    The draft, made between China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Ltd and the local government of Dengfeng, Henan Province, says the two sides will spend 100 million yuan ($14.6 million USD) to set up a joint venture which will be listed in Hong Kong in 2011, reports People's Daily.

    Without any permission from the temple, the local government agrees to authorize the JV to sell the Shaolin ticket, which generates an annual income as high as 150 million yuan ($21.9 million USD).

    Cui Shiying, spokesman for the Dengfeng government, admitted that Shaolin Temple isn't involved in the draft because "we (the two sides) haven't reached the final decision."

    Qian Daliang, general manager of intellectual property and intangible assets management center of Shaolin Temple, told Chinese media that the temple's fate should not be decided by a local government.

    "Shaolin Temple is public asset belonging to the whole country, not the temple or the local government... the whole deal should have been openly discussed by experts and the public," he said.

    Shaolin Temple has been a hot topic in China recently thanks to the current principal abbot Shi Yongxin. In October, he told Chinese media that he was going to establish a Taiwan branch of the temple in the near future.

    Last year, he set up four chain temples in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, to strengthen the tie with followers in South Eastern Asia. People started to worry that Shi would turned the temple into another McDonald's, but he denied the claim, adding it would never happen.
    Dengfeng And CTS Set Up Chinese Travel JV
    December 30, 2009

    Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Cultural Tourism Group, which is wholly-owned by the Dengfeng government, and CTS subsidiary, China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Limited, have jointly set up a joint venture — CTS (Dengfeng) Songshan Shaolin Cultural Tourism Company.

    The new company has a registered capital of CNY100 million, of which CTII owns 51% of the shares and Dengfeng owns 49%.

    According to Bo Baohua, the chairman of the company, the JV will focus on develop three major areas. First, improving the management and service of Songshan Scenic Spot; second, making the annual growth for tourist numbers of the spot reach 20% by leveraging the advantages of CTS and cooperating with tourism enterprises in Henan province; third, making a three-year investment and development plan to create a tourism industrial chain and to make Songshan a multi-functional and comprehensive destination.

    Dengfeng government and CTS state that their cooperation will adhere to the principles of "moderate development, rational utilization, and strengthening the protection of natural and human resources in the Songshan Scenic Spot".

    It is reported that the JV is not involved with the famous Shaolin Temple.
    Gene Ching
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  13. #58
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    Another one

    It's a game of 'he said, Shi said'
    The Shaolin Temple story
    Travel & Leisure
    31 December 2009

    The time line on the Shaolin Temple share transaction suggests that there was some change of mind somewhere along the line.

    First CTS (Dengfeng) Songshan Shaolin Culture Tourism. was set up as a joint venture between the Dengfeng Songshan Shaolin Culture Tourism Group, which is owned by the Dengfeng city government in Henan, and the Hong Kong-based China Travel International Investment Hong Kong, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (HKCTS).

    The Hong Kong company took a 51% stake and the Dengfeng company took 49% of the new joint venture, which has a registered capital of $14.7 million.

    The original story was the government of Dengfeng, where the Shaolin Temple lies, was trying to have the religious place listed in the stock market.

    This was sort of initially denied by Bo Baohua, board chairman of the new company, at an inauguration ceremony held in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan said, "In the next 10 years, we will greatly promote the tourism of the Songshan Mountain scenic spot, improve the infrastructure and upgrade the services. Meanwhile, we will greatly promote the Shaolin kungfu and culture."

    Still the thought was that this was inappropriate behaviour and would hurt the feelings of Shaolin monks and religious people.

    The Dengfeng government was quick to deny this saying "16 cultural relics of national and provincial levels, including the Shaolin Temple, in the area will not be managed by the new joint venture".

    The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.

    Shi Yongxin officially took over as abbot in 1999 and earned himself the nickname the "CEO monk". He is seen with his computer in our illustration on the right.

    Shaolin, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.

    China View reports he has submitted proposals several times to the national legislature, suggesting the exemption of entrance fees at religious tourist attractions to promote cultural protection.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #59
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    In the WSJ

    * December 31, 2009, 6:16 AM ET
    What, If Anything, Is Being Sold at Shaolin?

    Controversy has arisen again over Shaolin Temple, about a month after the temple’s Web site came under attack by hackers angry at its commercialization.

    This time, a tourism venture that uses the Shaolin name is in focus , though it’s not clear to what extent the temple itself is involved, and the abbot and the monks of Shaolin recently released a statement, hand-written on red poster paper that appears to denounce the venture.

    The background: In the past week, the government of Dengfeng city in Henan province, where the 1,500-year-old Shaolin temple is located, launched a joint venture with the Hong Kong-listed China Travel International Investment, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation. The focus of the new firm - CTS (Dengfeng) Songshan Shaolin Culture Tourism Co. – is to promote the Shaolin culture and tourism to Songshan Mountain, according to the statement of the Dengfeng government.

    The financial terms of the deal are murky. China Travel International Investment indicates in a statement filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange that the company is taking a 51% stake in the venture, which is registered with a capital of 100 million yuan (around $14.7 million), while the Dengfeng government will hold the remaining 49% through a local tourism development arm in exchange for injecting some assets it manages in the Songshan scenic area to the JV.

    Chinese state media has reported that the new JV firm plans an initial public offering in 2011. The IPO plan has drawn much media attention since it became known.

    It’s not clear from these statements, however, what the asset portion of Dongfeng’s investment consists of. Chinese media have reported that it includes Dengfeng’s rights to charge admission at Shaolin. The temple’s annual ticket revenue has been as much as 150 million yuan.

    Administrators of Shaolin Temple said they have no idea of most details in the deal that the local government has inked, but one administrator said the agreement has “hurt the brand and management rights of Shaolin Temple.” He said ticket sales is the temple’s most important source of revenue, and that currently the temple keeps 30% of ticket sales, while the local government takes the remaining 70%, which in a good year would translate to around 105 million yuan – well above Dongfeng’s asset injection into the venture, valued at 49 million yuan.

    The Shaolin administrator said he doesn’t know how the government’s new business will affect the temple’s arrangement with Dongfeng over ticket sales.

    News of the venture has led to widespread public concern about the destiny of Shaolin Temple, and also of potential undervaluation of the temple’s assets. The critics also argued that as Shaolin Temple is part of China’s cultural heritage, the local government shouldn’t make unilateral decisions without consulting with the temple or hearing public opinions.

    In response to the public outcry, the Dengfeng government published a couple of statements clarifying that the proposed joint venture would not include the assets of the 16 preserved cultural and historic sites in the area, including Shaolin Temple. They also denied that it had sacrificed the interest of Shaolin Temple. The materials provided by the local government for Chinese media also showed that Shi Yongxin, the abbot of Shaolin Temple, met with executives of the Hong Kong company in October, indicating that the abbot was aware of the government plan. Recent Chinese media reports had quoted the abbot as saying that he didn’t know of the government program and that the IPO plan goes against the spirit of Buddhism.

    Shortly after the Dengfeng government unveiled the new JV business, the abbot and the Shaolin monks said they have been deeply worried by the government decision. Their tough-worded statement said, “All monks here are humbly holding incense and praying to all Buddha to protect the complete legacy of the thousands of years of history of Shaolin Temple, to save the heritage of Shaolin Temple from being dismantled and divided, to prevent the Shaolin temple from setting a precedent example for all temples across the country.

    Chinese media have also published a statement of a Zhengzhou-based law firm on behalf of Shaolin Temple that said all tangible and intangible assets of the temple should be protected by Chinese religious laws. The statement suggested that Shaolin Temple’s ticket revenues, which are tax exempt due to the government support for religious sites, shouldn’t be treated as business assets.

    A survey on Sina.com showed that 93% of the 7,129 participants were against the deal because “Shaolin Temple, a religious place, should not be involved in too many commercial practices.”

    Many Chinese Internet users were ironizing about the commercialization of religious culture in their own ways.

    “In 2011, the temple won’t need to broadcast Buddhism songs any more. [They] can put up a big screen showing the daily stock charts. Worshippers can also chat about the stock market when praying,” wrote the blogger Li Zhiqi, “In 2011, Shaolin Temple won’t be alone. The temples big and small in different places will all plan IPOs.”

    – Ellen Zhu
    And in China Daily
    Shaolin Temple not to go public: abbot
    (Xinhua)
    Updated: 2009-12-31 22:21

    ZHENGZHOU - The abbot of China's famed Shaolin Temple said here Thursday that the temple will not be listed in the stock market.

    In addition, Shaolin Temple will not become a shareholder or join in the business operation of the newly established tourism company in Dengfeng City of Henan Province, where the temple lies, Shi Yongxin said at a press conference.

    The legal rights and interests of Shaolin Temple had been well protected according to Chinese laws of religious affairs and will not be affected by the new firm, he said.

    Shi made the remarks four days after a joint venture was established between the Dengfeng city government and the Hong Kong-based China Travel International Investment Hong Kong Limited, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corporation (HKCTS).

    The new company had come under spotlight as earlier reports said the government of Dengfeng was trying to have the religious place listed in the stock market.

    The rumors had sparked criticism on the Dengfeng government, as critics say the agreement would hurt the feelings of Shaolin monks and religious people.

    Both the Dengfeng government and a senior HKCTS official had denied the reports earlier this month, saying the Shaolin Temple will not be managed by the new joint venture.

    Shi said at the press conference that he welcomed HKCTS to do business in Dengfeng, but reaffirmed that Shaolin Temple will never participate in commercial operation of the joint venture as its core functions are to organize religious activities to meet the demand of religious followers.

    The Shaolin Temple, built 1500 years ago during the Wei and Jin Dynasties, is famous for Buddhist teaching and Chinese martial arts, particularly Shaolin kungfu.

    Shaolin, which has become a household name around the world, has developed business operations such as kungfu shows, film production and online sales under the leadership of Shi Yongxin.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #60
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    News from the Internet

    The Independent
    January 2 2010



    Kung fu monk fights his critics

    The head of the fabled Shaolin monastery has been accused of selling out heritage for commercial gain, reports Clifford Coonan

    January 2 2010

    The Shaolin monastery is the birthplace of an ancient, elegant fighting code, where fists of fury and the way of the dragon have for thousands of years peacefully coexisted alongside calm Buddhist meditation.


    But the temple, built in AD495 as a place of contemplation and discipline, is now a thriving tourist destination and multinational business venture, run by a monk who has won the respect of many for his business sense and canny marketing skills.

    Purists and critics say, however, that he is an overly commercial opportunist. The latest controversial business venture of the "CEO of Shaolin" – as the temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, is known – is a foray into modern tourism and finance. The local government of Dengfeng city has linked up with the state-owned China Travel Service to launch a travel venture using the Shaolin name. The new company aims to promote the Shaolin culture and tourism to Songshan Mountain.

    The Shaolin temple is widely regarded as the birthplace of Shaolin kung fu. Shi Yongxin took over as abbot in 1999 and has divided opinion on whether he is selling out the temple's ancient heritage. "The Shaolin temple is the cradle of kung fu, which brings with it the great responsibility of promoting kung fu," the abbot has stated in defence of his business ventures.

    The portly 44-year-old does not look like a kung fu star but, as anyone who has seen Kung Fu Panda knows, appearances are deceptive when it comes to martial-arts skills and, in this yellow-robed monk's case, commercial nous.

    Mr Shi was roundly criticised a couple of years ago for accepting a brand-new luxury car for his services to the local tourist industry. In November, a hacker replaced the Shaolin website's front page with a fake letter of remorse in Shi's name. In it he was accused, yet again, of selling out.

    On Thursday, the abbot, who is also deputy director of the Buddhist Association of China, was back on the defensive after reports suggested that the temple would go public. He denied that Shaolin would become a shareholder in the new tourism company which will seek to list in 2011 in either Hong Kong or on the Chinese mainland. The core remit of the temple, said the monk, was to "organise religious activities to meet the demand of religious followers".

    The Shaolin monastery features in scores of martial-arts films in both Hong Kong and the mainland. But outside China it is best known as the setting for the 1970s television show Kung Fu in which Kwai Chang Caine or "Grasshopper", played by the late American actor David Carradine, studied the lessons taught to him by Master Po and Master Kan.

    As with most of China's monasteries, Shaolin was badly damaged and then closed down during the Cultural Revolution, a decade of ideological frenzy between 1966 and 1976 when many ancient temples and artefacts were destroyed. Its resurgence since then has been remarkable, although it is not quite what many might expect a Buddhist temple to be.

    Whatever his critics say, it is undeniable that Mr Shi has done much to popularise the town. It has more than 80 martial arts clubs and schools with a total of 60,000 students. Last year the temple had 1.6 million visitors who paid 100 yuan (£9) each to come to see it and watch the spectacular kung fu show. Among past tourists was the then Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who in March 2006 became the first foreign leader to visit the temple.

    Thanks to the abbot's canny marketing, the temple's list of commercial achievements would put any theme park to shame. Last year, the monastery was the setting for the launch of the latest kung fu epic, the £18m blockbuster Shaolin. It stars the Hong Kong movie legends Jackie Chan, Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse, as well as the rising mainland star Fan Bingbing, and it will be directed by Hong Kong's Benny Chan. Filling out the cast will be stars including Wu Jing and Yu Shaoqun, and thousands of Shaolin disciples from the temple.

    In another sign of the Shaolin monks' growing financial sophistication, the media wing of the temple, the China Songshan Shaolin Temple Culture Communication Centre, will team up with Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures, and the Chinese production companies China Film Group, Huayi Brothers and Beijing Silver Moon Productions. This is a high-profile production, and the tie-up shows just how careful the abbot is about protecting the brand.

    "We felt that it was important not to rush into a film project just for the sake of making another film," he said. "It has taken us a long time to find the right partners who had all the right elements for something as monumental as this."

    Four years ago, the temple hosted the K-Star Global Chinese Kung Fu Star TV competition, which put 108 martial artists through their paces and offered the winners a shot at stardom. The martial-arts enthusiasts were ranked by virtue, kung fu ability and artistry. In June 2008, the Shaolin monastery launched its own website, allowing martial-arts enthusiasts to buy such items as a pair of Shaolin slippers, kung fu tea towels and T-shirts, chopsticks and bowls for those delicate balancing movements, while a kung fu manual for around £90 gives you the lowdown on the five fighting styles of the Shaolin warrior: tiger, leopard, snake, dragon and crane.

    Shaolin may be a place of spiritual contemplation but it is now also one of commercial genius.

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