Shenzhen – Developing International City

Shenzhen birdmen: Two daredevils, one mega-tall tower and a selfie stick (VIDEO

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A notorious thrill-seeking skyscraper climber has come up with a fresh video of himself and a friend climbing a crane atop the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China. The building is slated to be the tallest in China once finished.

The 115-story building is currently in the final stages of construction and its roof will be over 555 meters high when the tower is complete in 2016. With the antennae counted in, the height of the skyscraper would be 660 meters, beating China’s current highest building, the Shanghai Tower, by almost 30 meters.

Russian-Ukrainian daredevil Vitaly Raskalov and his friend Vadim Makhorov have dodged the center’s guards and climbed to its top, photos and footage of the act showed.

Read the full article and watch the hair-raising climb on video here


Inside Greater China: An exclusive look at Apple in Shenzhen


Apple has singled out Greater China – including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – as a primary growth center. Appleinsider took a trip to learn more, starting with a week exploring Taiwan followed by a week in Hong Kong and a week in Guangdong Province in the People’s Republic of China.

Click on the picture below to read Appleinsider’s extraordinary report about Shenzhen and Apple in Shenzhen



First Museum of Design finds its Home in Shekou


Shekou will be the home of the first major museum of design in China by 2016, based on a contract that was signed in London by the Victoria and Albert Museum in Britain with China Merchants Group. The contract signing was also witnessed by British Prime Minster David Cameron and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.


To read the full article please visit Screenshot 2014-06-20 09.58.54


Qianhai special economic zone in Shenzhen ‘will offer better quality of life than Hong Kong’

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Hailed as the Manhattan of southern China before it’s even built, the Qianhai special economic zone in Shenzhen will offer a better quality of life than Hong Kong, says the landscape architect who is drafting the planning guidelines.


To read more please go to SCMP China banner


Dafen – Shenzhen’s Artist Village

PIC-Dafen-collectionDafen (大芬) has established itself as China’s centre for the production of commercial paintings and is known for its replicas of famous Western paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and Starry Night. Around 5,000 artists call this city their work place, producing around 20 pieces a day. Visitors of Dafen are instantly greeted by numerous paintings that decorate the shop windows. Most of these paintings are exported to overseas buyers, especially in the U.S. and Europe, where they decorate the walls of restaurants and private homes. This has developed into a highly profitable business for Dafen, growing 30 times from figures in 2004. According to Dafen village administration, last year’s total value of Dafen’s painting industry reached 3.9 billion Yuan. In the previous years up to 2011, the export business was booming, seeing approximately half of the paintings being shipped overseas.

To read more please visit

How to get there: Dafen (大芬) can be reached by Shenzhen Metro Line 3 (Longgang Line). It’s a 5 minutes walk from the metro station, just follow the map provided  at the station.


Hub for Creative Enterprises to be Built in Qianhai

During the China Creative Valley Summit Forum last Saturday, a plan to build a hub for creative enterprises was introduced. Once approved the hub will be built in Qianhai in Nanshan District.

The project will be named the China Creative Valley and is said to cost around 12 billion yuan covering an area of 80,000 square meters and a floor area of 60,000 square meters, the project is initiated by the Guangdong Industrial Cooperative Association along with the Association of the Regional Cooperation of Shenzhen.

Read more on Shenzhen Standard 

Official Qianhai website (in Chinese)

A New World on the Sea

CCTV 9 documentary with early footage of the establishment of Shekou (Shenzhen) as export processing zone. Click on the picture to see the video


Shenzhen – Then and Now


Shenzhen Luohu, just across the border to Hong Kong, in 1980, this is where you find today the sprawling place outside Shenzhen Railway Station

For all those familiar with Shenzhen for more than 25 years this collection of photos made by Rob Wile and published in BUSINESS INSIDER will recall memories how life was in the new established SEZ at that time. I recall one or the other scene very vividly, city proper hardly stretched to what is now Lianhua Shan Park and we made that trip almost daily from Luohu from 1985 onwards to set up factory in Shajing, a couple of km north of where Shenzhen International Airport is now. For the younger ones or those who came after us, that’s what Shenzhen was without highways, subway, western restaurants and the bar scene in Futian or Shekou. But it was, maybe even more so, already a fascinating place to work and live.

For more pictures please visit Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 1.53.34 PM

Luohu District Planning Massive Renovations and China’s Tallest Skyscraper

Officials from Luohu are planning several urban renovations in their district. These include a 666 meter tall skyscraper that, once completed, will be the tallest building in China, even taller than Futian’s Ping An IFC, which will stand at only 648 meters tall. A low rise building will also be constructed that will match the building horizontally as the building achieves vertically.

For more information please visit

 Shenzhen: Sea World project taking shape

TWO tall buildings in Shekou have been topped off and are taking shape, marking significant progress for the 60-billion-yuan (US$9.52 billion) development effort renovating Shekou’s Sea World Square.

    Funded by China Merchants Group, the two-building project will create a coastal urban development of nearly 1 million square meters at the Sea World entertainment hub, which caters to Shekou’s large expat community.

    Massive cranes have filled the sky above Sea World for months, giving diners and bargoers an up-close view of the construction.

    The two buildings include a 37-story China Merchants Group commercial complex and a 57,000-square-meter Hilton hotel, Shenzhen Economic Daily reported this week.

    Covering an area of 110,000 square meters, the commercial complex is 211 meters high and will feature design elements reminiscent of the sea, sailing and lighthouses. The building will feature a “glass curtain” exterior and employ environmentally friendly technologies. It’s expected to become a new landmark in Shekou, the paper said.

    The Hilton hotel will have about 320 guest and banquet rooms and will provide catering, conference and celebration services. Its construction should cost about 800 million yuan.

    In addition to the two-building Sea World project, Shekou developers also are planning Net Valley, an industrial park focused on Internet technologies at the foot of Dananshan Mountain. The park hopes to lure companies working in mobile Internet, e-commerce and Internet of Things — research and technologies that link physical objects with cyberspace — according to Shekou planners..

    Net Valley intends to attract 300 to 500 Internet companies, with a potential total GDP of 30 billion yuan, in three to five years.

    Meanwhile, experts have been encouraging the development of Internet information, culture, media, science and technology in Shekou’s well-known international community.

    Planners also intend to enhance Shekou’s industrial, commercial, residential, cultural, educational and health care functions.


Shekou hears expat-residents’ voice on further growth

Part of a display at China Merchants HQ, showing future developments of Shekou, many already under construction

On November 3, 2011, the South China Chapter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China, together with China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Co., Ltd., held another round of ‘The New Shekou’ information event for its members and guests.

The well attended event again found an interested audience and provided valuable information about Shekou, which is, since the establishment of Shenzhen as Special Economic Zone, the preferred place to live for a growing expat community. Questions raised by the audience covered a wide spectrum of subjects, from new industry settlements to the development of further transport connections between Hong Kong, Shekou and Guangzhou.

‘Shekou Industrial Zone Co., Ltd.’ on September 22, 2011, informed friends and members of the Shenzhen Asian Culture Society in a well attended meeting about the future development of Shekou, Shenzhen’s preferred home for expats.

‘Shenzhen Daily’ writes about the event:

‘SHEKOU, a well-known international community in western Shenzhen among expatriates, is seeking a further development through industrial upgrading and function diversification, according to Shekou Industrial Zone Co. Ltd. (SKIZ) on Thursday.

    “Development of three industries would be encouraged in the area. They are Internet information, culture and media, and science and technology,” said Ouyang Fang, vice director of the innovative industry development center of SKIZ, at a meeting with expatriates on the area’s new development plans.

    There are plans to build Shekou Net Valley, an industrial park engaged in Internet, at the foot of the Nanshan Mountain to cover mobile Internet, E-commerce and Internet of Things.

    The valley aims to attract 300 to 500 potential Internet companies pursuing GDP of 30 billion yuan (US$4.5 billion) in three to five years.

    “We are seeking to further develop Shekou’s industrial, commercial, residential, cultural, educational and health care functions,” said Ouyang.

    While expats approved of the ambitious development plans, they also voiced their opinions.

    “Infrastructure such as transport could be further improved,” said Tanja Millner, president of the Shenzhen Asian Culture Society, a nonprofit organization working to strengthen relationships, promote understanding and provide cultural enrichment for the expat community.

    Millner said it was a good decision to develop the Internet information industry in Shekou because of its proximity to the Science and Technology Park in Nanshan, which means resources could be shared.

    The environment was a key factor that should be taken into account in further development.

    Millner’s concern about the environment was echoed by Russ Page, director of the QSI International School in Shekou.

    Page also said there should be more international schools in the area because the number of foreign companies was growing along with the number of expats.

    “The three key industries to be encouraged are major driving forces for the economy,” said Page.

    Shekou has a population of 350,000 and the GDP per capita was about US$20,000, according to the SKIZ. Shekou has become home to most of the city’s expatriate population.’

‘Shenzhen Standard’ writes in another report:

‘Shekou is a community in western Shenzhen plans to do further development through industrial upgrading and function diversification. Shekou can be considered an international community since its popular among the expatriates living in Shenzhen.

During a meeting among the expatriates doing business in the areas, Ouyang Fang the vice director of the innovative industry development center discussed the new development plans of the three industries in the area namely Internet information, culture and media and science and technology will be encouraged to undergo development.

Plans to build a Shekou Net Valley is also introduced, the industrial park will be placed at the foot of the Nanshan Mountain and will engage in the Internet business covering mobile internet, e-commerce and Internet of things. Builders of the Shekou Net Valley hopes at attract around 500 internet companies that are pursuing a GDP of 30 Billion yuan in the five years time.

Expatriates in the area approved of the development plans for Shekou and the also gave their opinions, such as improving the transportation system and placing more international schools in the area because of the growing number of foreign companies and expats.’

Slideshare presentation about ‘Shekou’s Development Plan 2011 – 2020’ (Click on the picture below to go to the website)


More information about ‘China Merchants Group’ can be found on the company’s website: 




10 Things to Know about SHENZHEN

UNESCO City of Design

UNESCO publication about Shenzhen’s growing design industry, can be downloaded from here

Official website of ‘City of Design’, Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen has Two New Administrative Zones

SHENZHEN has officially established two new administrative zones, Longhua and Dapeng New Zones, an exploration in innovating the modern urban management mode.

    Besides six administrative districts, there are four administrative zones in the city. Longhua New Zone will be turned into a demonstration area for the city’s current efforts to accelerate industrial transformation and upgrading.

    Dapeng New Zone is expected to become home to international coastal holiday resorts, low-carbon industries and emerging industries of strategic importance, Shenzhen Economic Daily reported Saturday.

    North to Futian District, Longhua New Zone covers an area of over 175 square kilometers and has a population of over 22 million.

    The zone is home to the newly-opened Shenzhen North Train Station, which is located on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed railway.

    Boasting more than 133 kilometers of coastal lines, Dapeng New Zone has a population of around 180,000.

    The city government Friday passed temporary regulations concerning the management of the zones, clarifying the legal status and responsibilities of the management commissions.

    According to the regulations, the management commissions will be responsible for researching and drawing up economic and social development planning of the new zones.

    The commissions will organize the implementation of the mid- and long-term development planning and key investment plans.

    The other responsibilities include industrial distribution, investment attraction and management of and service of enterprises.

Source: Shenzhen Daily

Construction of Technology and Eco City Underway

Redevelopment on the Shenzhen Bay Technology and Eco City is already underway and is expected to take four years to build. Once completed the industrial park will be integrating environmental protection with industrial upgrading. Total cost for the redevelopment and upgrading of the park is said to be 15 billion yuan. The park is located at the center of the Shenzhen Bay area and spread over 203,000 square meters. The redevelopment project is part of the city’s 12th Five Year program that contains four sections. Once completed, around 30 to 50 companies will be establishing their headquarters in the newly constructed park. The park will also have living and working environments that will cover nearly 30,000 square meters of area including roof gardens, factory buildings, commercial facilities, office buildings, service apartments and high end hotels.

Sources: Shenzhen Standard; Shenzhen Daily

Hong Kong urged to partner in logistics hub

Shenzhen on January 9, 2012, unveiled details of its 285 billion yuan (HK$348 billion) plan to create one of the world’s biggest logistics centres in Qianhai, and urged Hong Kong to co-operate in meeting the project’s challenges.

Shenzhen officials have previously outlined their goals and budget for Qianhai – a 15-square-kilometre development zone on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Yuen Long – in their city’s latest five-year plan. But yesterday’s report in state media marked the first time they had released details about how the money would be spent.

Read full article here: 

Qianhai’s Development in Progress

A PRELIMINARY agreement has been reached between the Qianhai administration and 45 companies, including 21 from Hong Kong, a news conference was told Sunday.

    A 15-square-kilometer coastal strip in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District, Qianhai was named in the 12th national Five-Year Program and would be developed as a hub for the modern service industries of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

    The administration would introduce experienced management personnel in Hong Kong to operate the Qianhai Investment Development Company, yesterday’s Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported.

    The city government had been seeking a change to the law to facilitate the Qianhai development, pursuing a bigger role for the government as a service provider.

    In addition, the city government has made it a basic principle to introduce influential companies in finance, modern logistics, information services, science and technology.

    Innovative small-to-medium enterprises with great potential would also be welcomed, the paper said.

    The city government had granted autonomy in 14 areas to the management bureau of Qianhai to facilitate development.

    The autonomy covers development strategy planning, land management, land reserves, construction and operations, finance, review and approval of financial projects, attracting investment, foreign exchange and cooperation.

    At Sunday’s news conference, director of the Qianhai administration, Zheng Hongjie, spoke of the similarities and differences in the three key areas of cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the next five years. The others were Nansha in Guangzhou and Hengqin in Zhuhai.

    “The three areas form a ‘golden triangle’ in the Pearl River Delta, all of which were pursuing a modern service industry,” said Zheng.

    “Qianhai focuses on a production service industry. Nanshan is an experimental zone for a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the mainland and Hong Kong (CEPA),” said Zheng.

    Zheng said the three areas combined would boost development in the entire delta area.

Source: Shenzhen Daily

 In this satellite picture from 2010 the outline of Qianhai (northwest of Nanshan mountain, in the centre) is already clearly visible


James Corner Field Operations Wins Urban Design Competition in Qianhai, Shenzhen, China

James Corner Field Operations was awarded First Prize in the International Competition for the Planning of the Qianhai Region of Shenzhen, beating out 10 other invited design teams includingOMA/Rem KoolhaasBLAU Architecture and UrbanismBjarke Ingles GroupSWA, and Nikken Sekke among others.

The invited competition was sponsored by the Urban Planning Land and Resources Commission of Shenzhen. Chaired by Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, the jury was comprised of international experts in the fields of architecture, planning, landscape and urban design, including Charles Waldheim, Chen Yixin, Duan Jin, Lin Qun, Phil Kim, Ralph Lerner, Rocco Yim and Sung Hong-Tau.

The project site includes 4,500 acres of reclaimed land surrounding Qianhai Harbor on the western coast of Shenzhen. Upon implementation, Qianhai is envisioned to be the financial, logistics and service hub of Shenzhen, and a major new urban center – a “Manhattan” — in the Pearl River Delta mega-region, linking Hong Kong to Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

The JCFO scheme envisions a new “Water City” for 1.5 million people. The design is dense, compact, mixed, sustainable and centered around the area’s most important resource – water. The proposal breaks the site into 5 manageable development sub- districts through the introduction of five “Water Fingers” that extend along the line of the existing rivers and channels, connecting the adjacent city perpendicular to the harbor’s edge. These Fingers function as both innovative hydrological infrastructures and new public parkland. They process and remediate stormwater, while expanding the amount of development frontage onto public open spaces that structure and organize the larger city.

The urban fabric within each development sub-district takes the scale of the typical Shenzhen block as a cue, but breaks it down to generate a diverse range of inter-connected urban neighborhoods. The result is a hyper-dense, yet ecologically sensitive urban territory that offers an iconic waterfront, diverse building stock, cultural and recreational features, as well as a series of unique, inter-connected public open spaces that rival major destination waterfront cities around the world.


Shenzhen announces ground rules for Qianhai zone

The Ordinance of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone on Qianhai Shenzhen-Hongkong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone was recently approved at the ninth meeting of the standing committee of the Fifth Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress after six months of extensive solicitation of opinions and repeated revisions.

The document is divided into eight chapters under the following headings: general principles, governance structure, development and construction, industrial development, investment promotion, social development, rule of law environment, and supplementary provisions. It defines the functional positioning of Qianhai and sets forth its management structure, land development, tax concession, social functions, and choice of law principles.

Under the Ordinance, the Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone of Shenzhen (Qianhai Authority) will be established and given the authority to exercise the power of examining and approving non-financial projects enjoyed by cities with separate planning status. The Qianhai Authority will be a statutory not-for-profit corporate body tasked with administrative management and public service duties.

Hong Kong is mentioned in more than 20 articles in this document. For example, it is clearly stipulated that the Qianhai zone should persist in maintaining close cooperation with Hong Kong and draw on the concepts and experience of Hong Kong and other regions in market operation and planning, as well as common international rules and practices in development, construction and management. Senior managers of the Qianhai Authority may be recruited from among Hong Kong and overseas professionals. Qianhai will encourage the introduction of advanced international commercial arbitration systems, encourage Hong Kong arbitration agencies to provide commercial arbitration services to enterprises in the Qianhai cooperation zone, and encourage cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong private mediation bodies in the provision of commercial mediation services to enterprises in Qianhai.

Qianhai’s development will no doubt generate new opportunities for Hong Kong companies. Hong Kong has the vast mainland market at its back and Qianhai is a stepping-stone for the penetration of Hong Kong service providers into the mainland. Hang Seng Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, SF Express and PricewaterhouseCoopers are some of the Hong Kong companies that have signed contracts with the Qianhai Authority to provide services in Qianhai. While problems of no small proportions are expected to arise in the process of deepening cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong due to differences in the legal systems of the two places, the process will witness the transformation of a system on the mainland and the extension of Hong Kong’s wealth of experience in high-end services.


Professionals working in Qianhai to get lower tax rates

A preferential tax system will allow Hong Kong and other overseas professionals who work in the Qianhai special development zone in Shenzhen to pay their income tax at Hong Kong rates.

A zone administration spokesman said that specialists  working in the Qianhai zone need only pay personal income taxes at rates levied by the Hong Kong government. This tax system was approved three months prior by lawmakers, in hopes of attracting more professionals to come and work in the 15 kilometer coastal area in Nanshan district. Currently Qianhai is designed to become a modern service industry cooperation zone between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The rationale for this taxation system is that it would not be fair to Hong Kong residents working in Qianhai to be taxed at the mainland level. The spokesperson also said that more tax breaks will be implemented to attract more Hong Kong investors int the zone. A plan to reduce sales tax from 5 percent down to 3 percent is also being discussed.

Currently personal income tax rates on the mainland are at 45 percent, while the maximum rate in Hong Kong is at 15 percent which is the lowest in the world. Overseas companies will also get a 15 percent set rate as their corporate income tax in Qianhai compared to the 25 percent rate in the mainland.

Source: Shenzhen Standard

Qianhai chosen for ministry-level conference

QIANHAI will be given the right to approve foreign investment in Guangdong Province’s printing industry and modern service industries.

    Enterprises registered in Qianhai which engage in offshore service businesses will be exempt from paying business tax.

    Accredited enterprises with advanced technology which are recognized by the municipal government will enjoy a preferential tax rate of 15 percent on corporate income, an inter-ministerial conference held in Beijing said.

    The meeting, the highest level meeting since the establishment of Qianhai Cooperation Zone, also announced the establishment of the inter-ministerial conference, the 24-member body that plays an important role in Qianhai’s development.

    It declared that Qianhai had been included in national development plans.

    “Qianhai will be the economic center of Shenzhen in 10 years, and a model for Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation,” said Wang Jixia, spokesman of the Qianhai management bureau.

    According to Wang, massive infrastructure projects will be fully planned at the end of the year.

    It is expected to create 800,000 job opportunities and around 200,000-300,000 Hong Kong residents will come to work in Shenzhen by 2020, when the cooperation has matured.

    Qianhai will be a platform for Hong Kong enterprises to enter the huge market of Pearl River Delta cities, which have a combined population of 90 million.

    Qianhai will be built into a transport hub with an advanced Metro system and expressways.

    It will be only 10 minutes away from Hong Kong Airport and eight minutes from Shenzhen Airport after the completion of the western rail link by the end of the 2015.

    The 51.7-billion-yuan (US$8.2 billion) project, which has been listed in the national Five-Year Plan for 2011-2015, will be jointly invested in by the Shenzhen and Hong Kong governments.

Source: Shenzhen Daily





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