Authorities have shut down two high-end golf courses at a resort in northeastern China owned by real-estate millionaire Wang Jianlin and operated by Wang's company, Dalian Wanda Group.
Golf has long suffered under China's ruling Communist Party, which banned the sport after taking power in 1949, describing it as a "game for millionaires." It later emerged from the shadows in the mid1980s as China's economy opened up to the outside world, but remained at the mercy of politics.
These two closures are the latest case of the Chinese government crackdown on golf, which has become the flagship of the anti corruption warfare against which President Xi Jinping has been waging a massive, high-profile campaign. They also represent a fresh setback for Wanda, which has found parts of its businesses under pressure from authorities this year.
The Fusong County government ordered Wanda to stop golf operations at a resort in Changbaishan last month, according to a brief notice posted on the government's website on Friday. It didn't give a reason for the closures or say if they're permanent.
Wanda declined to comment on the matter. Its website says the Changbaishan resort has two "world-class" golf courses, an 18-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus and a 36-hole course designed by Robert Jones.
A new crackdown began in 2004 and intensified under Xi. Since 2011, the government has closed more than 100 golf courses around the country, citing illegal land and water use according to state media.
Wanda received local government approval to use the land for the Changbaishan golf courses. The local government had also agreed to compensate the company for any losses that might occur in the event of land use disputes, the person said.