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VIDEO: Illegal mountainous penthouse ordered removed from Beijing building

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This rooftop penthouse, built by resident Zhang Biqing atop an apartment building, looks plucked straight from a mountainside.
This rooftop penthouse, built by resident Zhang Biqing atop an apartment building, looks plucked straight from a mountainside. - ()

It's no secret that wealthy people rarely spare any expense in the acquisition or construction of their dream home. But when someone's ideal residence is a mansion perched atop a 26-story apartment building, no amount of wealth or influence is likely to insulate it from scrutiny forever.

Zhang Biqing, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, built his penthouse into a mountainside getaway on top of the Beijing apartment building pictured above. He apparently asked no permission from municipal or regulatory authorities.

According to the Al Jazeera English video below, reported by Harry Fawcett, Zhang worked in China's military medical service before going into private practice. Aside from the danger to those living beneath the massive structure, the owner is said to have great influence in the Communist party, and to be prone to very loud celebrity-attended parties of his own.

But Zhang's sprawling boulder-strewn penthouse in the sky will be gone very soon, one way or another. He is several days into a 15-day removal order from the Chinese government. If he doesn't dismantle the house, the government will do it for him.

I try to make sure there's a good business lesson in every post here at SFW. Today's story is a weird reminder that no amount of clout or wealth immunizes a businessperson or business from regulatory requirements. Few people are likely as brazen as Zhang in flouting such rules.

However, in light of an ever-expanding web of regulatory oversight, businesses must be vigilant about compliance to ensure long term—and lawful—success.

Digital content editor Joe Ross is @joeross on Twitter.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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