High cost of burial

Updated: 2011-04-06 08:01

(China Daily)

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Though some believe all are equal before God, this may not be so when buying a grave in China, netizens complained recently.

On sina.com.cn, a major information portal, netizens listed the top 10 luxury cemeteries in China, priced from 1 million yuan ($153,000) to 8 million yuan.

The reportedly most expensive cemetery, in Xiamen of coastal Fujian province, is surrounded by walls with a relief sculptural fence and a 3-meter-high pavilion.

"Are the buyers mourning for their ancestors or simply flaunting their own wealth with luxurious graves?" said a netizen.

Some expensive graveyards were advertised as "underground Central Business District".

Most of the luxurious graveyards sell by the area a grave occupies, ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 yuan per square meter.

Although the regulation issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs limited the maximum size of a tomb for ashes to 1 square meter, many luxury graveyards expanded the area with artificial landscaping.

Meanwhile, prices for regular tombs were on the increase.

In Beijing, the price - varying from 7,200 to 29,000 per square meter - has tripled since 2008, China National Radio reported on Tuesday.

Shanghai Funeral and Interment Association Secretary-General Wang Hongjie said the price rise was caused by the increasing scarcity of land.

Currently, Shanghai has 333 total hectares of land for graves. With 110,000 deaths every year in the city, that land will by used up in a dozen years.

- China Daily


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