12 February 2013

China’s Ghost Cities

This is an interesting video that was sent to us by a reader. It is about the cost of economic growth in China and the ghost cities appearing all over the country. Huge buildings and entire cities just left abandoned due to a lack of demand. It’s a fascinating piece. We’ve transcribed the opening segment below.

These are satellite images of one of China's newest cities, a sprawling urban centre complete with public buildings, hotels and apartment blocks and this is the view from the ground. 11am on a Thursday morning and Zhengzhou's CBD is deserted, shops unoccupied, hundreds of apartments uninhabited.

All the shops in this mall are empty, not that that worries the government, because they're simply more concerned with maintaining economic growth and one way of achieving that is building cities like this one. The big question, though, is how much longer all these shops and properties can remain vacant?

But all around me, the construction of this metropolis goes on and here in the southern city of Dongguan, another example. This is the South China Mall - toy shop owner, Tian Yu Gao, is doing his best to keep his spirits up but is already after 2pm and he's yet to serve a single customer.

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