For several decades, Yu, together with his association members, mostly wealthy businessmen from Yiwu, has been searching for old houses across the country. Yu has a personal interest in the houses, but also views them as lucrative investments.
"I believe the private capital in the affluent Yangtze River Delta is abundant enough to cover the restoration and protection of old houses. And there is a keen interest in the field," said Yu.
"But I think it is more ideal to have local businessmen invest in the houses, as they are more familiar with the local culture and traditions and therefore best preserve the original," he said.