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December 14, 2010

Lost in translation: Chinese promotional videos, web pages, and media reports present misleading account of the EB-5 "arena project"

Part 11 of a series

Atlantic Yards Report

Like a game of telephone in which the message gets mangled at each node, so has the story of the Atlantic Yards EB-5 deal been distorted in the Chinese media, due to the deceptive promotion of the project and sloppy and/or misleading reporting.

Compounding that are exaggerated promotional statements by Chinese immigration consultancies working with the New York City Regional Center (NYCRC).

A promotional video

Consider a promotional video produced by the Wailan consulting firm after a meeting for EB-5 investors in China in October 2010.

In the excerpts below, recorded with upbeat, triumphant music, the montage aims to convey luxury and inspire confidence. Flower arrangements and cascading champagne, as well as a raffle, help turn a hotel ballroom into launching pad for a new life.

Among people pictured, developer Bruce Ratner shakes hands with ex-NBA player Darryl Dawkins (aka "Chocolate Thunder") with Forest City Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin looking on; a Chinese speaker is heard using the terms "NBA" and "Barclays;" the NYCRC's Paul Levinsohn turns to salute the crowd; the Empire State Development Corporation's Peter Davidson appears at the podium; and lucky raffle winners pose with Nicolai Hinrichsen of the law firm Miller Mayer.

But the message was quite misleading.

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Posted by eric at December 14, 2010 11:20 AM