China’s futuristic “straddling bus” has received quite a lot of publicity lately; unfortunately for them, most of it has been bad. Ever since its first test run, Chinese state media have turned on the invention, calling it unfeasible and a scam. Meanwhile, the first Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) has been locked up, all testing has been postponed, the factory is nonexistent, and now, the company is facing some financial difficulties.
Huaying Kailai, the parent company of the TEB, has been raising money through peer to peer (P2P) investing and so far has raised billions of yuan, ECNS reports. However, the company has only started on two projects, with their total spending not more than 200 million yuan combined.
The “internal test run” that the bus conducted last week apparently had some purpose. The company revealed that it was to see what the braking system, drag and power consumption of the thing would be like. However, that scrap of info seems to be the only tangible evidence of the project’s legitimacy so far.
A Research and Development Base was supposed to be built at Zhoukou port in Henan, but when journalists from Xinhua went to take a look, it was a desolate area. No straddling bus, no buildings, only a couple kids playing in the field. It turns out, TEB Tech hasn’t even signed a contract with the local government yet.
The company did rent out a 300 meter road in Qinhuangdao to conduct its “test run,” but that lease runs out at the end of month and it’s unclear if they will renew it. Other supposed “contracts” and “partnerships” with various governmental bodies have all proved to incomplete or fictional.
Furthermore, the Huaying Group has been rather secretive about its magical bus. An employee from a company in Beijing revealed that an investor must make an appointment with a salesman in order to first get an introduction about the project.
One of the most attractive reasons to invest in the TEB (besides how awesome it is) is that the company offers at least a 12% annual return rate, People’s Daily reports. Well, with high interest, there’s also high risk… of a scam.
Some investors have been frightened enough by all the scam talk to ask for their money back.
“My wife and I have invested more than 1 million yuan into Huaying Kailai’s platform since 2014 with annual returns of 16 percent. But we want to get out money back now after reading negative news about the online platform,” one investor told the Beijing News, adding that so far, his family has obtained returns on time.
Sorry kid, looks like more bad news. But, hey, it might be available in India!
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) August 3, 2016
By Sarah Lin