The Nanfang / Blog

Guangzhou Officials Asked to Return Their Cheap Social Housing Apartments

Posted: 05/16/2014 9:38 am

We can file this under “Never-Gonna-Happen”.

The public has demanded officials disclose their assets and properties for a long time now, and yet still nothing fruitful or noteworthy has come of it. Now, Guangzhou is expecting its officials in Huangpu District to voluntarily return any extra apartments they have improperly allocated for their own use before the end of this month.

If that is the case, the officials will have a lot of paper work to do, and a lot of properties to conceal, and the commission fees for some of the city’s big housing agents will be going through the roof from now until then.

All division level (处级以上) officials and higher working in institutions under the Huangpu District’s government, Communist Party Committee or state companies are subject to the new rule, according to Guangzhou Daily’s report on Wednesday.

Officials who own more than two social housing apartments, or officials who use their connections to buy low-income housings for their children and relatives, are expected to return those properties, the report said. But it did not mention any punishment for officials who refuse to do so.

But as if to appease the public about the rule’s successful implementation in the foreseeable future, the report cited an example of how the district has cleared out more than 190 improperly used government offices measuring 5,875.44 square meters in total since it issued a similar directive late last year.

Like so many other new rules Guangdong has recently unveiled including banning officials from calling each other “brother” or “boss” and the right to go clubbing, we can bank on the ultimate rule that has always, time after time, never failed to deliver – “wherever there is a policy from the top, there is a counter-policy from the bottom (上有政策,下有对策)”.

Home page photo credit: Anhui Daily 


Shenzhen’s Futian District to get an RMB20 billion makeover

Posted: 08/20/2013 5:42 pm

Shenzhen’s Futian District is set to have a new 20 billion yuan (US$3.27 billion) development that will include high-end apartments, a shopping centre, a research and development centre, and a new Mandarin Oriental hotel.

The new plan put forward by Shum Yip Land, a commercial property subsidiary of Shenzhen Investment (a part-government owned group), will be due for completion in 2017, and represents a substantial new addition to Futian’s rapidly developing district — a popular expat area in the city.

The new residential project covering nearly 800,000 square meters of floor area will be called UpperHills. The development is expected to bolster growth in the entire area, with other commercial properties and projects set to benefit from the huge investment plans.

“This development will comprise office towers, a residential complex, significant retail and extensive outdoor space and parkland, and will become the premier lifestyle destination for the local community and the Southern China district. Shum Yip’s UpperHills is located minutes away from Futian Central Business District, the financial centre of the city, and is close to the main custom and immigration checkpoint to Hong Kong,” according to a breaking press release from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group today.

The news will certainly be welcomed by Futian’s current residents, of which there were an estimated 885,000 in the 2002 census. That number is no doubt significantly larger today. Futian is sometimes known among locals as “the living hub of Shenzhen,” a name it earned due to its heavy emphasis on residential areas.

Peter Kok Kai-lam, deputy general manager of Shum Yip, shared more details of the development plans in an interview with the South China Morning Post today.

Kok said the final project will have a gross floor area of 1.12 million square meters. Meanwhile, sales will begin on the 650 residential apartments within two months, each of which is sized between 106-450 square meters. Clearly there will also be a range of prices to suit different buyers.

The shopping centre, which Kok has said will target “young people, in the 25-35 age group, along with high-end buyers,” will cover 167,000 square meters. A cinema and food court are also planned.

Kok said that one of the towers will be used as “A grade office space” due to high demand, and expected that technology companies and multinational firms would show strong interest.

For more details on what to expect from the new Mandarin Oriental, check out its official press release. Already known is that it will offer 173 deluxe rooms and 17 suites, including one presidential suite, covering a total floor area of 45,000 square meters.

Photo credit: dcmaster, Flickr


NYT: Chinese women seek money first, love second

Posted: 04/16/2011 8:00 am

At the risk of diving into an incredibly controversial topic, we take a look at an article published in the New York Times on Friday regarding dating habits of Chinese women.

The article points out that, according to a survey, 70 percent of Chinese women will only consider marrying a man who already owns property.

Among the qualities they seek in a mate, 50 percent said that financial considerations ranked above all else, with good morals and personality falling beneath the top three requirements.

Zhang Yanhong, a matchmaking consultant at Baihe, one of the country’s most popular dating sites, said many disheartened men had simply dropped out of the marriage market.

“This fixation on real estate has twisted the popular notion of love and marriage,” she said. “Women are putting economic factors above everything else when looking for a mate, and this is not a good thing for relationships or for society.”

While this article deals particularly with Chinese women dating and marrying Chinese men, the arguments are pertinent to foreigners as well. If you ask any male foreigner about their dating prowess in China, chances are they’ll tell you that they have been quite successful; nay, are even chased by many pretty women. This can lead one to believe that they are desirable, that Chinese women love foreigners, etc, but this might not necessarily be the case.

It would take a volume of books to explain the differing socio-economic, historical and cultural differences between the east and west, and no judgment is being passed here. But looking purely at the country’s economic situation, which has been poor for several hundred years, perhaps the desire to find money ahead of love is understandable.

In my time in the country, having lived in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, I’ve seen foreign friends get married and get divorced, and seen the ugly side of some marriages. I’ve also seen successful ones. (Not unlike marriages anywhere, I might add) But when two people of vastly different cultural and economic backgrounds get together, it’s even more important for both sides to begin the relationship with their eyes open: sometimes when love seems too easy, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.



If you have cheap rent, lock it in

Posted: 02/17/2011 9:27 am

People out shopping for an apartment in the PRD are finding that prices aren’t as good as they were a few months ago.

Inflation is becoming a growing problem in China as a whole, and rental rates are no exception. From Life of Guangzhou:

In the China’s capital of Beijing, the financial center Shanghai and the southern metropolis Guangzhou, rents have risen by 10 percent for individual homes, stores and office buildings. In Guangzhou, the rent list is five times the length of the leasing list.

The reports on CPI in January, released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics, show this tendency. Individual residence prices went up 7.1 percent compared to the same period of last year, much higher than the rise in other prices.

Let us know if you find any good deals out there, or can recommend any property agents who help you save a few kuai.

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