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
The city that has been defined by its proximity to Guangzhou and Shenzhen is stepping out on its own, with a high-tech transformation well under way.Continue reading Dongguan: due for a starring role
The Greater Bay Area’s fastest-growing economy is not Guangzhou or Shenzhen, but Dongguan, which saw its GDP rise 7.2% in the first three quarters of this year – an acceleration from 6.9% recorded in the first half.
Driving this growth was the city’s staple of manufacturing – both in terms of output and input. In the year to end-September, the added value of industrial enterprises above designated size rose by 8.0%, while fixed-asset investment surged by 18.1%.
September seems to have been a particularly strong month. Industrial production was up 15.9% over August, which was a clear departure from a steadily slowing month-on-month trend up to that point.Continue reading Dongguan tops GBA growth charts
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 lines.
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.
Read more on its population plans (in Chinese).