The GBA gets a major boost at the end of this month, when the north-south Intercity Railway opens between Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou, as we reported recently. But in five years’ time, the much bigger infrastructure project of the main east-west high-speed railway connection will open. This has been confirmed by provincial authorities. The Shenzhen-Jiangmen section of the Shenmao Railway has been given the official green light to begin construction by the end of the year, with completion set for late 2024.
It cannot be emphasized enough how this railway connection will change the economic structure of the GBA. Running from Shenzhen’s under-construction Xili Station, one of the city’s four major railway hubs, it will run across (and under) the mouth of the Pearl River, linking the manufacturing powerhouses of Shenzhen and Dongguan on the east with Nansha (in the middle) and Zhongshan and Jiangmen in the west.
The Shenzhen-Nansha section will chug along at a sedate 200km/h, while the Nansha-Jiangmen section will allow speeds of up to 250km/h. There will only be seven main stations along the route, which means express trains can get across the Bay more quickly at certain times of the day.
The line will essentially make Zhongshan and Jiangmen outer neighborhoods of Shenzhen. And it will boost Nansha, being right in the middle, as a central hub as it strives to build a new center of gravity for the entire Bay (more on this tomorrow in our Nansha overview).
Read more (in Chinese).
The municipality of Jiangmen has a fascinating history, and to say it has “been through the wars” would be an understatement. Like most of the Greater Bay Area, it has had its ups and downs. Yet its history is unique as a once-proud node on the Maritime Silk Road, a home to many overseas Chinese who traded throughout Southeast Asia in the days before Hong Kong and Canton became the powerhouses they are today. Once one of the region’s richest areas, today the GBA’s westernmost city is, like the easternmost city of Huizhou, finding itself playing catch-up to the rest in economic development.
Continue reading Jiangmen: Mission to restore faded glory
Huawei Technologies is looking far and wide, high and low, for talent. As we have written recently about its Dongguan campus, which aims to attract PhDs from all over the world, the company is determined to become reliant on resources within the borders of its home country. Its latest step in this quest has led it to Jiangmen, the GBA municipality on the western side of the Bay.
The Jiangmen Vocational College signed an agreement with Huawei yesterday to “explore the integration of production and education”. What this means in plain terms is that they will jointly build the Huawei Institute of Information and Network Technology, otherwise known as the Huawei ICT Academy.
It’s only a RMB7 million investment, but it was enough to get the district mayor out for th signing ceremony, according to Nanfang Daily.
There is a lot of rhetoric in the press statement, so it’s hard to know exactly what is different about this collaborative agreement than a standard classroom or building sponsored by a tech giant. It seems that Huawei will basically have first access to any budding AI talent that emerges from the district. It’s all in the name of the GBA, needless to say.
The government of Jiangmen has set its sights on creating New Energy Vehicle industrial cluster in the city, potentially worth as much as RMB100 bn.
There is a way to go. Last year, the NEV and related equipment industry contributed just RMB17 billion to Jiangmen’s GDP. However, the city government has recently released a new plan to “actively push forward” development of the industry.
Cash subsidies are on the way for NEV enterprises with a capital investment of RMB2 billion and related equipment manufacturers with an investment of RMB1 billion.
Jiangmen will have competition. Most cities in the GBA have a liking for the NEV industry. Dongguan is particularly focused on it. In 2017, China’s leading auto manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor, invested RMB4 in Dongguan’s Heshan to build an NEV commercial vehicle base to specifically serve certain industries: e-commerce, supermarkets, postal logistics and special vehicles for municipal sanitation facilities.
Jiangmen also pledged to ensure all its public transportation would be electric-powered by 2020, and to spread a dense network of charging stations across the city for private cars.
Read more (in Chinese).