State-owned Harbin Pharmaceutical Group is China's second-biggest drug maker. When the company posted these photos of their facility on their website, it sparked outrage in the country and beyond. The photos showed lavish architectural features and fixtures seemingly fit more for a palace than a pharma building: intricately carved wood corridors, gold foil inlays, triple-tiered crystal chandeliers and marble columns. Cost of the construction of the building was reportedly over 93 million yuan (15 million USD).
Residents of the neighborhood surrounding the company were incensed that just months prior to the photo revelation, Harbin was charged with illegally discharging wastewater, waste gas and industrial waste. Corporate response to the accusations was that they had no money to address the problems.
One user on the "Chinese Twitter" Sina Weibo wrote,
“It’s a palace which is built on the pain of millions of patients.”
“Now I finally know why Chinese people can’t afford to go to the doctor and buy medicines.”
See additional photos and read more on this story in this article.