Former owner of Beijing’s No.1 nightclub breaks silence

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The Heaven of Earth nightclub in Beijing still has a sleazy reputation in China after police raids eight years ago. Photo: Blogspot

The former owner of what was once Beijing’s most notorious nightclub, famous for its “66 pink ladies” who catered to wealthy princelings and top party cadres, has broken his silence eight years after the club was raided during a crackdown on vice.

Qin Hui, the former owner of Heaven on Earth, once known as Beijing’s No. 1 nightclub, has given an interview to a Chinese online media outlet in Hong Kong. His interview, however, may put the well-connected businessman back in the spotlight he’s sought to avoid.

While seeking to play down rumors surrounding his famous nightspot, which was once Beijing’s most exclusive men’s club in the capital, Qin may have inadvertently drawn more attention to himself and the notorious nightspot.

Now the owner of the Hong Kong-listed cinema operator SMI Holdings, Qin and his club were the target of a high-profile police anti-vice operation eight years ago which made headlines nation-wide.

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Qin Hui, the former owner of the club, married the daughter of the brother-in-law of the late Chinese President Li Xiannian. Many believed his connections shielded his club and its patrons until the police raid. Photo: WeChat

“I am very upset,” he said. “We did not do the dirty things [at my nightclub]. But the media keep on writing denigratory stuff about the club, insulting my own integrity as well.”

Heaven on Earth is nothing but a “KTV box” nowadays, he said.

Tycoon Qin was married to the daughter of the brother-in-law of late Chinese President Li Xiannian, who was in office between 1983 and 1988. But despite that connection, his business ventures have not all been smooth sailing. He once fell foul of the corruption watchdog for alleged bribery.

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Beijing police swooped on the club in 2010. Photo: China News Service

The nightclub, in the west annex of the Great Wall Hotel – Beijing’s first five-star hotel managed by a foreign group – was in the bustling Chaoyang district.

The club featured a big line-up of sexy waitresses, including a group famously known as the “66 pink ladies.”

What made them special was that these women were not waitresses, let alone trained masseuses, but were office workers or even college graduates with master’s degrees. They were all no less than five-foot tall, good looking and well mannered and their task was to entertain the high-end patrons.

In the club’s heyday, the pink ladies were rumored to charge no less than 3,000 yuan (US$473) for their “standard service” as well as top-ups of 1,000 yuan each for a range of “extended, personalized services,” usually offered in private boxes on the upper VIP floors of the 980-square-foot club.

However, Qin denied his club offered any “extended services,” though he did say the quality of service, from the waitresses’ outfits to their manners, were of the highest standard. He added that the girls were discouraged from wearing too little and there was a strict dress code for customers, such as no jeans.

“Sitting not too far away from the Zhongnanhai, I dare say there was no other nightclub that was more decent than Heaven on Earth,” he said.

That said, Liang Hailing, the lead girl of the pink 66 group, often known as the “No.1 courtesan in Beijing,” was murdered in a case involving one of the club’s top patrons. Qin said she had left the club more than one year before her death.

Many wonder if Qin’s recent interview, which was intended to stop the gossip, may have the sent the rumor mill into overdrive.

 

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