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Cities in trouble: London will weather a no-deal Brexit but can Hong Kong survive its political crisis?

The economy has begun to shrink. Commercial property transaction volumes are plummeting. Office leasing activity has weakened significantly since last year. Most worryingly, the institutional underpinnings of the real estate investment market have been thrown into question by an unprecedented threat to the status of one of the world’s leading financial centres. If this sounds like the predicament faced by Hong Kong, that is because it is. Yet it also happens to be the one confronted by Britain… Source link

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Money 

With China’s economy set to slow what hope is there for struggling cities?

Baotou Donghe Airport was eerily quiet on an early July evening. In the departure hall staff outnumbered passengers and there were no queues at the security checkpoints, even though the information boards showed there were at least three flights due to take-off that evening.All of the shops and convenience stores were open but there were few customers. Of the 10 boarding gates at the terminal, only one was in use.“Welcome to Baotou, where you never have to wait in line at an airport security… Source link

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JD.com adopts AI to drive growth in smaller cities and among female users amid wider e-commerce slowdown

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com is exploiting artificial intelligence (AI) to help drive online consumption in smaller cities and among female users to help compensate for slowing growth in China’s e-commerce industry amid the uncertain economic climate.Zhou Bowen, head of AI at JD.com, said the company’s AI-powered SnapShop, which allows users to take a photo of a product and provide identical and similar product recommendations, is helping it grow business in smaller cities and among young… Source link

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Chinese cities experiment with new approach to land sales while Hong Kong sticks with highest-bidder model

Local authorities in many mainland cities are exploring new ways of awarding land to developers as they seek to curb property prices, throwing the spotlight on Hong Kong’s long-established practice of simply picking the highest ­bidder.Among the new land sale models, some apply administrative limits on how much developers can charge for completed units as a way to help maintain ­affordability, while others include requirements for public housing or picking bidders offering close to an average… Source link

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Erosion of Hong Kong’s institutional autonomy will hurt advantage over mainland China cities, high credit rating: Moody’s

A potential erosion of Hong Kong’s institutional independence from Beijing over time could diminish the special administrative region’s advantage over mainland Chinese cities, as well as its higher credit rating, ratings agency Moody’s said on Friday.The agency said it was affirming the city’s long-term issuer rating of “Aa2”, two notches higher than China’s “A1” and two notches lower than the United States’ “Aaa”.“Over time, and as 2047 – the end of the 50-year transition period – approaches,… Source link

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Property 

Why rents in China’s top cities are unlikely to see that midyear rise

Rents in China’s top cities, which rise every summer on the back of an influx of fresh college graduates joining the workforce, are unlikely to increase by much this year as it has reached the upper limit of their affordability and warnings from local governments, say market observers.Average monthly rent in first-tier cities such as Beijing have stayed flat at 90 yuan per square metre in the first three weeks of June, little changed from the same period last year, according to property listing… Source link

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Property 

Housing policy easing, falling yuan to attract young Hongkongers to ‘Greater Bay Area’ cities of Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Guangzhou

More young Hongkongers looking to get on to the property ladder are expected to seek homes in the “Greater Bay Area” cities of Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Guangzhou, as a result of policy easing and a depreciating yuan, property agents have said.The agents said they have witnessed a twofold year-on-year increase in home sales in these cities, while enquiries from Hong Kong buyers looking to buy apartments in 70-year-lease projects have also gone up.“We are seeing more inquires from young Hongkongers… Source link

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More Chinese cities set to join Guangzhou and Shenzhen in increasing car ownership quotas to lift declining sales

China’s local governments are taking steps to boost car sales that have fallen for 10 consecutive months through April by increasing the annual quota of new licence plates in some of the mainland’s biggest cities that are plagued by traffic congestion.Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the southern Guangdong province announced last week that they will increase the supply of licence plates in the two cities by at least 42 per cent through 2020, a move Jefferies Financial Group said was unexpected because… Source link

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China 

Zhenjiang suicide-watch guard is the human face of the economic malaise that afflicts smaller cities amid the US-China trade war

As an out-of-work chemist inJiangsu province, Chen Wei thanked his lucky stars when he found work as a security guard for China’s anti-corruption agency.For 4,000 yuan (US$579) a month, Chen keeps watch with a colleague in six-hour shifts over detainees, some suicidal, who are awaiting investigation by the Communist Party’s organ for policing corruption.The shift work, which pays a third less than his old job making plastic pellets, is mind-numbing – there’s no Wifi-enabled smartphones allowed,… Source link

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Growth in home prices in China’s bigger cities may push up costs countrywide, think tank says

A bridge modelled on London’s Tower Bridge in Suzhou, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province. New home prices rose in 67 out of the 70 cities monitored by China’s National Bureau of Statistics in April. This prompted the housing ministry to warn four cities, including Suzhou, that they were showing signs of overheating. Photo: AFP Source link

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