Touted as the next Shenzhen, Xiongan may be replicated in other parts of China if it succeeds.
Xiongan what, where, why? Suddenly, investors gone berserk have swarmed into the small farmland located about 100kms southwest of central Beijing. Housing prices there tripled overnight until the local government had to ban all real estate transactions temporarily.
These early bird investors wanted to get in early before prices rise to stratospheric levels – Xiongan has been touted as the new Shenzhen. Shenzhen is a spectacular success story – from a sleepy fishing village of 30,000 40 years ago to a world class tech hub of 12 million people in 2016. Its GDP per capita grew an astonishing 24,569% during that period, according to reports.
So when Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on April 1st the establishment of Xiongan New Area as a model city following the success of Shenzhen and Shanghai Pudong New Area, no one wanted to be left out.
Located in the northern province of Hebei, Xiongan covers the counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin – mostly drab towns, and is home to Baiyangdian, one of the largest freshwater wetlands in North China.
It will initially cover 100 sq km which will be expanded to 200sq km in the mid-term and about 2,000sq km in the long term, according to official news. It’s intended to relieve congestion in Beijing and Tianjin by phasing out some noncapital functions from Beijing and exploring a new model of optimised development in densely populated areas.