The managers of Putuo Mountain, a Buddhist shrine where worshippers go to pray for healthy children, want to raise 750 million yuan ($118 million) in an initial public offering, China Daily reported today.
The Putuo Mountain Tourism Development Co., in the eastern province of Zhejiang, plans to seek the listing after “prudent considerations and a year of preparation,” the newspaper said, citing an official with the site’s management committee.
Plans for the offering by one of China’s four main Buddhist mountains come as China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs has criticized local governments for seeking to turn a profit off religious sites.
“Developing the economy should have its limits and should not cross the moral lines,” the official Xinhua News Agency cited Liu Wei, an official with China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, as saying in June. The article highlighted official opposition to listing temples.
Chinese media reported in 2009 that officials in Henan Province planned to list Shaolin temple, the Chinese Buddhist monastery considered the birthplace of kung fu. Local leaders later denied the claim. Emei Shan Tourism Co., which oversees Emei Mountain, another main Buddhist shrine, went public in Shenzhen in 1997. Its stock has risen 18.4 percent this year.
Chinese law prohibits state-owned protected historical sites from becoming business assets, China Daily said today.
— With assistance by Nick Wadhams