The Shenzhen Hi-tech Zone began as a patch of 11.52 sq km in the Nanshan district and has mushroomed, particularly over the past decade. This widely known fact was recognized in April this year, when the “zone” was officially expanded to 159.48 sq km, covering not only Nanshan but the Pingshen district as well. (To understand what exactly a Hi-tech Zone is, read our explainer.)
Now, the city government has announced that, far from resting on its laurels as the tech capital of southern China, it plans to accelerate the development of this zone. In so doing, it plans to attract and/or develop no fewer than 2,000 new hi-tech enterprises this year. These will be focused on building commercial applications for AI, new energy, integrated circuits, robotics, and new materials.
At the same time, Shenzhen will focus on building an integrated supply chain in the hi-tech sector, starting from basic research, through manufacturing and financing. It will also construct a number of key scientific and technological infrastructure projects and build a number of key laboratories and pilot bases. These will include high-level innovation incubators, research institutes, and a group of professional technology service institutions.
Vacancies in the office market in Shenzhen hit a decade-high in the first half of 2019, burdened by a flood of new space entering the market and lingering fallout from a recent cleanup in the financial technology sector, reports Caixin Global.
The vacancy rate for class-A space in the city now stands at 23.3%, according to Colliers International. Much of the new space is being built in Qianhai and the nearby Nanshan district. Qianhai’s vacancy rate is 65.7%. Which might explain our recent news item about Qianhai offering big rental subsidiesto Hong Kong companies registered there who have not yet settled in an office building.
It would appear that the demand side of the market is not doing so well, either. The government’s crackdown last year on peer-to-peer lending platforms apparently led to 300,000 square meters of temporary vacancies for grade-A office space in Nanshan alone. Colliers is positive, however, that the challenge will be short-lived, as banks and other financial organizations will step into the gap.
Guangdong has released a three-year masterplan for land use, which focuses on industrial upgrading and the development of a marine industry. Plenty of land will be made available for expansion of the hi-tech zones (in each city), industrial parks (many in each city), and industry clusters (such as Nanshan in Shenzhen or Songshan Lake in Dongguan). Moreover, speed will be of the essence in this plan, which will “encourage” bidders to submit construction plans before they have even taken part in land auctions.
As for the marine-industry plan, the provincial government has high ambitions for how its surrounding waters will be utilized for economic and social development. Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Jiangmen – yes, that’s right, Jiangmen, with a long coastline next to Macau – will be designated special nodes for the development of the industry.
Read more in Chinese.
According to property consultancy China Real Estate Information Corp (CRIC), home sales in Bantian, a neighborhood in Shenzhen’s Longgang district where Huawei is based, fell by more than a third in May compared to the previous month. Agents believe Huawei staff and their families are responsible for more than half of the transactions in the area, where prices have risen 11% since the beginning of 2017, according to SCMP.
Market observers said pessimistic sentiment had affected the market across Shenzhen’s nine districts. For instance, in Nanshan’s Shekou district, close to the headquarters of firms such as ZTE, drone manufacturer DJI and Tencent, seven Centaline branches reported transactions falling as much as 15% this month. Across the city, volumes have fallen 10%.
The Shenzhen Cyberspace Laboratory has teamed up with the National Supercomputing Center in Shenzhen to build three large-scale projects focused on AI. According to the laboratory, the first, “Cloud Brain” will build a nationwide distributed artificial intelligence infrastructure; the second, “Target Range” will focus on cyber-security; the third, Cloud Net, is a network emulation platform.
One of four approved by Guangdong provincial authorities, the lab opened in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District last year. One of its goals is to promote the establishment of an international center for scientific and technological innovation in the Greater Bay Area.