The region’s biggest and most important infrastructure project of the year, if not the decade, will open on November 1, it was announced today. Originally scheduled to open on National Day, October 1, the Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway was forced to delay its launch after some technical issues came up that had to be resolved. But these have now been fixed.
After 11 years of construction, the railway line is a vital connector of 15 stations, all key nodes along the eastern coast of the Greater Bay Area. Running through its three biggest cities, in its first phase of development the railway will start at the Shenzhen Airport in Baoan and run up to Xintang station, on the border of Guangzhou and Dongguan. Sometime next year it will be extended to Qianhai in the south. The next stage thereafter will be to connect further northward, to Guangzhou East and then Guangzhou Airport and Guangzhou North.
In the meantime, the Xintang station will connect with the old Guangshen Railway, enabling passengers to switch trains and go to Guangzhou East, which is in the Tianhe business district. Read our explainer here, with maps.
Baoan full-speed 5G: Shenzhen’s Baoan district, which includes the international
airport and the new Shenzhen World expo center, will have its major facilities
covered by 5G before the end of this year, with full coverage by August 2020, Shenzhen
Daily reports. The district is currently at 41% coverage, and will build
3,684 5G base stations this year, covering the airport, expo center and Metro
Guangfo Line 2020: The much-anticipated Guangzhou-Foshan Intercity
Railway, known as the Guangfo Line, will open in March 2020. This will connect six
stations in Foshan with the Guangzhou South hub, effectively bringing all of Foshan’s
key towns within easy reach from Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Read more.
Dongguan ferries to Macau:
Dongguan’s Humen district now runs ferries directly to the Taipa Ferry Terminal
in Macau, which serves the major casinos in Cotai. The journey takes 100
minutes and there are four sailings daily. See
India flights: Guangzhou
will soon begin a direct flight to the Indian city of Kolkata. Read more.
Dongguan is on a mission to
raise investment – local and foreign – for new projects across the
municipality, and early efforts are paying off, with contracted investment
rising 35.7% in the first half of this year, according to official data.
According to Dongguan
Daily, the city introduced
2,062 new domestic and foreign-funded projects in the first six months, with total
contracted investment of RMB 107.322 billion. Nearly two-thirds of this amount
was committed into 122 large-scale projects worth a collective RMB 96.024
billion, a 54.85% jump over the same period last year. Among these, 85 projects
exceeded RMB 100 million each, and 37 were by foreign companies.
The four biggest of these projects are located in the Binhai New Area, which is being built into a major hub for transport, logistics, and new strategic industries. Read also our Dongguan overview for more detail.
Dongguan is noted for its manufacturing prowess, not its scenery. However, that is misleading. The city has been given a “National Excellence in Tourism” award, largely as a result of its historical relics and charming natural attractions. There is much to see and do here, and it’s a big place, so you need to plan your outings carefully. Here! (the magazine) is a good resource for events and listings of restaurants and bars. Following are our recommendations for the Top 10 must-go spots in Dongguan.
Continue reading Exploring Dongguan – Top 10 Spots
Songshan Lake, the high-tech zone in Dongguan, is going upscale. Already the home of the Huawei R&D headquarters known as Ox Horn, which has a collection of European-style buildings and its own mini-railway, the district has been in need of a major commercial complex. It is getting one around the Songshan Lake North railway station, courtesy of China Resources Group, which makes its first foray into Dongguan with a large, mixed use project, Wan Xiang Hui.
The project broke ground yesterday, Dongguan Daily reports. It is expected to be finished in three years, boasting offices, shops, hotels and apartments, covering an area of 44,100 sqm, with a total construction area of about 350,000 sqm. It consists of a podium with five floors above and one below ground, plus two towers at 240 meters and 130 meters high, respectively.
The station is a major future transport hub, with the Guangzhou-Huizhou Intercity Railway passing through, as well as Dongguan’s metro Lines 3 and 5, all of which are still under construction.
Residents will likely especially appreciate the Wan Xiang Hui Square, which will feature a wide variety of modern dining and entertainment options. Songshan Lake is a beautiful area, but it does get a bit dull at night.
Alipay in Macau: Alipay has launched a version of its service for Macau residents. Local users can bind their Macau bank accounts to it and pay each other as well as local merchants. Read more.
Clean Shenzhen: The city has retained its clean-air ranking, running in third place between Haikou (Hainan) and Lhasa (Tibet). Read more.
Dongguan going digital: Huawei has won a contract to help the Dongguan government “go digital”. It is worth RMB 2.7 billion. Read more.
Dongguan has had enough of being just another fast-growing Chinese metropolis. By the end of the Greater Bay Area masterplan, it wants to be a Mega City.
This might sound like something from a computer game, but a Mega City is an official designation given by the central government to a city with a population above 10 million. Dongguan, being the GBA’s third-biggest city with 8.37 million registered residents, plans to leap into that category by 2030, and will peak at 10.8 million in 2035, according to city planners.
It’s not about quantity, however, but quality. In 2016-2018, the total number of “talents” in the city jumped from 1.46 million to 1.953 million; “high-level talents” (post-grad degrees) rose even faster, from 84,800 to 126,000. As the city government explains it: “The population structure is continuously optimized.”
Dongguan is doing its bit to ensure these people live in a more comfortable environment, naturally. With a focus on Songshan Lake and the Binhai Bay districts, the city plans to grow sustainably and produce a high-quality living environment.
See our recent features on Songshan Lake and our Dongguan overview.
Read more on its population plans (in Chinese).
You might have heard about the ‘Innovation Corridor’ linking Guangdong’s tech hubs with Hong Kong. But what is it? Here we explain the basics of ‘One Corridor, Ten Cores, and Multiple Supporting Nodes.’ Forget Zhongguancun in Beijing; this is where ‘China’s Silicon Valley’ is being built.
Continue reading Explainer: the GBA’s Science and Technology Corridor
China’s closely followed rankings of trading cities has four out of the top to from the Greater Bay Area. Shenzhen is No. 1, followed by Shanghai, Dongguan, Suzhou, Zhuhai, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Tianjin and Beijing.
Moreover, Dongguan is closing the gap on Shanghai, according to the, published by the General Administration of Customs of China. Zhuhai, meanwhile, jumped two positions from last year’s list. Driving this has been both cities designation as pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce. Zhuhai’s adoption was the most aggressive – perhaps due to its proximity to neighboring Macau. Last year, Zhuhai had cross-border e-commerce between January and June this year worth RMB220 million, up more than 26 times YoY.
Smartphone giant OPPO says it will spend US$1.46 billion on research and development this year and is establishing a new R&D centre in Dongguan’s Chang’an Town. The new facility, along with the company’s existing R&D centre, will form a new research engine that powers OPPO’s continued innovation in the era of intelligent connectivity, according to a company statement.
The new Chang’an R&D centre is expected to house 5,000 staff and will be responsible for the R&D, design and testing of a range of smart devices, including smartphones and IoT products.
The news follows OPPO’s decision in February to build an intelligent manufacturing hub in Chang’an. It will focus on production and quality control of smart devices and peripheral products.