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
The best (and worst) cities in Asia to live and work abroad
Living abroad can be a life of romance, personal growth and exciting opportunities. Or it can be a nightmare of expensive rent, culture shock and loneliness.  But if you are to take the plunge, Asian cities could be your best bets, according to a recent survey. Four of the top five of the world’s best cities for expatriates to live are in Asia, according to the survey of more than 20,000 expatriates. Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, topped the chart for the second year in a row. Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, came in second while Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam was third. Singapore was ranked as the fourth-best city for expatriates while Montréal rounded out the top five as the only non-A
Chinese shoppers love napping at Ikea. Ikea says that’s fine
As a gray haze shrouded Beijing on Monday, Yu Xixi biked to an Ikea store on the edge of the Chinese capital and perched on a queen-size bed called Nesttun. She could doze off for an hour or two if she wanted. Just ask Ikea.  After years of ambivalence over what to do with the many people who nap in its stores, Ikea has effectively given a green light to the popular Chinese past-time. “We are very happy to welcome many customers to visiting our stores, for using our stores to sleep, as well,” said Anna Pawlak-Kuliga, the head of Ikea in China, as she announced Thursday an expansion in the company’s fastest-growing market. Ikea said it will invest $1.41 billion in its Chinese operations in 2
A historic Shanghai neighborhood counts down its final days
Behind the towering modern skyscrapers of Shanghai, some older corners of the city still remain. The Laoximen neighborhood is one of the city’s oldest. Once the location of the west gate of the former walled city, the area’s history dates back 500 years. It’s home to some of the final remaining examples of colonial buildings built when Shanghai was one of the only places in China where foreigners were permitted to trade. But urban redevelopment has steadily chipped away at Laoximen, with the latest plans poised to erase the northern part of the neighborhood. Watch the video, above, for a taste of old Shanghai.