As part of Deng Xiaoping’s 'reform and opening up' policies, China named Shenzhen a special economic zone in 1980. Over the next 40 years, Shenzhen transformed from a rural backwater with a population

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The most competitive cities: China vs rest of the world
By ranking fourth in the world, the megacity of Shenzhen was the highest-ranking Chinese metropolis in a new study that ranked how important a city is to the global economy.  China generally performed well in the rankings, but the list was dominated by the US.  New York City topped the chart for the third consecutive year. London took the second spot, followed by Singapore and Shenzhen. San Jose, California took fifth and Tokyo was sixth.  The report, which was produced by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the United Nations Human Settlements Program, measured a city’s economic influence based on its “connectivity.” Connectivity was defined by both “hard” and “soft” networks.  The
One of China’s most expensive cities is focusing on public housing
As weekly protests have continued to rock Hong Kong, the city’s authorities have pinned down one thing more than any other as the economic cause of the unrest: unaffordable housing. Across the border from the semi-autonomous city, the southern tech hub of Shenzhen in mainland China is trying to avoid its neighbor’s woes. Hong Kong has the world's most unaffordable property prices. Shenzhen is eschewing Hong Kong's housing model in favor of a system that focuses on affordable public housing. As part of its latest housing reform, the municipal government this week published a rule setting a benchmark land price across the city and stipulating that land sold for subsidized housing should be pri
Can Beijing afford to lose Hong Kong?
As Beijing has whipped up the vitriol against Hong Kong’s anti-government protesters and exerted pressure on companies to act against “offenders,” it has also instituted a plan to elevate neighboring Shenzhen into a model city that it hopes will lead the nation into its next level of development. Beijing’s conflicting narratives for the two cities that share a border may fuel speculation that if Hong Kong does not soon toe the line, it runs the risk of being replaced by Shenzhen as the financial heart of the Greater Bay Area. But in reality, it would be a tall order for Shenzhen to pull even as a financial center, let alone overtake Hong Kong. Unlike Shenzhen, an emerging global technology h
Online protest highlights woes of evicted children in Shenzhen
Chinese internet users have joined an online protest to support children who were forced to move out of one of Shenzhen’s biggest migrant neighorboods. Following calls from a performance artist called Nut Brother, WeChat users are sharing pictures of evicted migrant children, in order to pressure the government into finding new schools for them.  In China’s megacity of Shenzhen, home to some of the country’s biggest tech firms, so-called urban villages have housed successive waves of migrant workers and their families for decades. In a pattern repeated across much of the country, such neighborhoods, which provide cheap housing and services, are being gradually demolished to make way for mode
In Shenzhen, apartments near a collapsed building are in high demand
A collapsed building should be disastrous for home prices, right? Not if you're at the tech hub of Shenzhen. Homeowners at a residential estate in the Chinese megacity where a building collapsed this week raised their prices by nearly 20% within 24 hours of the incident. They bet buyers would be willing to pay a premium in the hope that the entire estate would be razed and redeveloped. A block of flats at the Heping Xinqu residential estate in the bustling Luohu district sank into the ground on August 28. No casualties were reported. The 29-year-old residential area has more than 100 homes. A broker said that a homeowner, who had put his apartment on the market for 3.1 million yuan ($433,300
‘China’s Silicon Valley’ plans to house millions priced out by tech bros
Dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley,” the southern city of Shenzhen is home to some of the country’s biggest tech companies. And just like San Francisco, a tech boom in Shenzhen has been a curse to those who can’t keep up with rising property prices. But in an attempt to calm public discontent over unaffordable housing and to keep attracting talent, the Chinese tech hub said it would build one million subsidized homes by 2035. Shenzhen is seeking to adopt a housing model that, if successful, could be replicated in other major Chinese cities struggling to avert a housing crisis. “Shenzhen would like to be a pioneer seeking a scheme more like Singapore, separating more affordable homes to average i
Kindergarten principal says sorry for pole dancing welcome
Dozens of toddlers and young children watched attentively as a scantily clad pole dancer performed her routine on stage. This was how Xinshahui, a kindergarten in China’s southern hub of Shenzhen, welcomed its students back on the first day of school this week. Videos showing the performance, taking place in front of children in their white school uniforms and their parents, have sparked anger on social media. The principal hung up on my wife when she called after saying it was "international and good exercise" ... okay, yeah for adults maybe, but not 3-6 year old kids. — Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018 “I’d like to withdraw my kid from this schoo