Rising Occupancy In China's Fake Manhattan Is "Mostly Government Driven"

Tyler Durden's picture

China's copy of Manhattan is no longer a ghost town, Bloomberg reports. But that doesn't mean it has forever forestalled a "day of reckoning" for its debt-fueled growth.

The northern city of Tianjin drew negative press coverage a few years ago because of a newly built replica of Manhattan complete with a mock Rockefeller Center that was created as part of a massive government infrastructure project but for years was little more than a ghost town.  But the city is now occupants are finally clocking to the city: Bloomberg reports that once empty skyscrapers, vacant office towers and unfinished hotels and apartments are gradually filling up amid the central government’s renewed push to refashion the city into a crucial gateway for a revitalized Northern China.

As Bloomberg reports:

There still may still be a financial reckoning for Tianjin looming in the future, but right now there are green shoots of economic life in the urban districts at the center of the city’s unprecedented construction boom.

But there's a catch, of course: As is true for the broader Chinese economy, the growth in Tianjin "is mostly government driven, though there are signs private industry is coming."

Here's more from Bloomberg:

In the Binhai district, empty offices are filling up with staff from private companies as well as employees of some of the biggest state-owned enterprises, such as China National Chemical Corp., railcar manufacturer CRRC Corp., and China Poly Group Corp., a conglomerate with businesses ranging from explosives manufacturing to real estate." While many local governments across the country are struggling with heavy dependence on debt-fueled growth, Tianjin benefits more than almost any city from its position at the vanguard of two of the country’s biggest national projects.

*  *  *

Bloomberg saves one notable detail for the last paragraph of the story, citing an official who offers some local perspective: The city is supposed to play in important role in China's "one belt, one road" initiave, another massive debt-fueled trade and transport infrastructure project meant to replicate the ancient Silk Road trade routes that connected Europe and Asia. The government-funded expansion aims to join Beijing with the surrounding Hebei Province to create a mega city of 100 million people.

It should come as no surprise that Tianjin has...backing from heavy hitters in the party.

"We want the city to become one of the world’s largest ports like Singapore or Hong Kong," said Xiao Sheng, vice director of the free trade zone in Tianjin. "We want to develop a new business and development model that could be promoted to other regions in China."

But even as China signs up foreign partners for its latest scheme, offering financial inducements like a $50 billion infrastructure investment in Pakistan, a key U.S. ally, some at least are showing unease at the massive debt-fueled spending necessary to bring the project into reality. 

In a diplomatic showcase years in the making, Chinese President Xi Jinping invited leaders from 29 countries to hear his pitch about the "one belt, one road." But what's notable is that India, the worlds fastest growing and second-most populous country, didn't even bother to send a delegation, warning that the "unsustainable debt burden" required to launch the project would be a disaster for the countries involved.

The story notes that though Tianjin's growth rate slipped to 8% last year – down from 9% the year before – it still outpaced 6.8% YoY rate for the broader Chinese economy in 2016. But that's a pretty low bar: China's economy grew in 2016 at its slowest pace in 26 years.

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yogibear's picture

Followed the Federal Reserve's policy of infnite printing in a finite world.

Freddie's picture

HymieTown with better Chinese food and fewer shysters.

I wonder if they have a fake Goldman Sachs trading floor and a fake NY Fed with fake and worthless Federal Reserve Notes?

helloimjohnnycat's picture

They got real " carr girrs " with fake boobs and real plastic puhsays !

All china stinks from the manufacture of rubbah tiddies & plasticine port holes fo' slanty-eyed sidewinderin' hos !

Da chinker joobs ( yes, many joobs in chicom land ) need sum dat befoe goin' home to their piggy-ass, schwine-faced obese wimmins.

Dis wuz prophesized in The Graduate's end.

Remember ? : " Plastics "

If the first part of that movie had not been censored, whoa !, let's just say Mrs. Lobinson knew how to work her Mellow Yellow toy into that joob-boy.

Ya-yup...  Koo-Koo-Koo !


swmnguy's picture

Yeah, the Chinese food there is much better.  Except there, they just call it "Food."  You won't find any General Tso's Chicken or Sweet and Sour Pork, though.  Nor Fortune Cookies. 

Stormtrooper's picture

100,000,000 people.  Imagine the stench of all those bodies perspiring in the smog.  Perfect test for UN Agenda 2030.

JTBfromtheWL's picture

too much time on their hands.

Squid Viscous's picture

new york without the jews, what's not to love? oy!

Xena fobe's picture

They are there, they just look different.

barysenter's picture

What is it that needs subsidies, Clarice?
I dunno.
Let me smell your cunt. Ahhh... that which needs subsidies is that which is fraud.
Why prop up blatant fraud, Clarice?
I dunno.
Let me taste your cunt. oyoy INTERSTITIAL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx4eTDBNF9E oyoy Ooh, ahh... the only reason is to perpetuate the monopoly.
Whose monopoly is This Big, Clarice?
I dunno.
Let me fuck your cunt. oyoy 28:10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsrNfeFr4lk oyoy
Aaah! AAAH! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGrDHI0orKE

83_vf_1100_c's picture

"But the city is now occupants are finally clocking to the city"


Whodafuck writes this stuff? H1B visa editors?

just the tip's picture

well, it's a ZH brand.  however, that one is particulary  funny.  just how do people clock to a city?

helloimjohnnycat's picture

" occupants " are now on sale at Men's Warehouse.

Fuckking joos got all the bases covered.

I'm Johnny Cat and I guarantee it !


Pop3y3too's picture

I was about to post a similar comment when I saw yours. Glaring. Like it was written by one of the now occupants hoo eats flied lice.

yarpos's picture

All a bit sad really and a bit of an illustration of China as a follower/copier rather than a creator/innovator.   I still find the absence of a trusted, desirable quality Chinese global brand a bit odd.   I guess i will come ,  but I thought it would have broken out by now. 

ebear's picture

This may surprise you, but there are good quality exports made in China.  The catch is, you have to buy them in Japan....lol!

I'm not joking.  Japan followed the same path as the US, relocating manufacturing to China, but with Japanese management and Japanese production standards.  Basically, the same items you'd buy in the US - toasters, coffee makers, irons, electric tools, etc. but they're well made and last as long as a Japanese product.  Japanese consumers are more fussy than Americans, plus their government has greater control over things like safety and durability, thus Chinese (and other) imports are of higher quality.

I stopped buying basic clothing items like T-shirts, underwear and socks made in China because the quality is so poor and the fit is bad.  Now my sister-in-law sends me that stuff in the care package she sends to my wife every few months.  Same thing when the wife visits.  Minimum clothing on the outbound, full wardrobe on the return.

I bought a garden spray head made in USA for $20 that lasted 10 years.  I bought the same item for $12 made in China, only lasted 2 years.  Japanese people understand this kind of math.  Americans, not so much.


reader2010's picture

A Made-in-Japen Lexus can last a quarter century but Made-in-America Toyota only five years.

Offthebeach's picture


Frist a Lexus is a freaky built car.  I've checked out internal welds a customer never sees, they were beautiful perfect.


Toyotas last 25 years with common maintenance.   This is in New England which is the death labor camps for cars.  Ancient beater Toyotas a favorite of broke people.


BTW, most cars can keep going.  Common to see ex police Crown Vics...3-400k miles become taxis.  Miles on Vin number....5-600k miles.  Couple of engines, couple of tranys...

Just oil, tires, fluid changes, belts, battery an alternator and water pump.....any vehicle should hit today 250. Easy.  

Akzed's picture

I bought a garden spray head made in USA for $20 that lasted 10 years.  I bought the same item for $12 made in China, only lasted 2 years.  Japanese people understand this kind of math.  Americans, not so much.


Please explain.

roddy6667's picture

The reason why you see cheap Chinese merchandise in Walmart/Target/etc is because that is exactly what they ordered. The retailer determines all those details. In China you can buy lots of quality clothing, home appliances and decor, home electronics, all that. It is just not exported to America. Americans can't afford the good stuff.

One of my nieces is in the clothing exporting business. She ships to NYC to a large high end womens' retailer that you would see in a mall in a wealthy area or expensive clothing store in NYC.

ebear's picture

"Please explain."

Yeah, sure.

$20 / 10 years = $2 per year of garden spraying.

$12 / 2 years = $6 per year of garden spraying.

so the Chinese product was actually 3 times as expensive.

Silver Savior's picture

Oh just tear it down and rebuild it. They should really tear down the original Manhattan and get rid of all those rats, decaying garbage and everything in disrepair. Make America great again!

helloimjohnnycat's picture

If you could sell all da' joos a city-wide inshoreance policy with double, no triple indemnity, trust me... duf rat-schnozzled kikes would have the place dusted in no time.


" I know. Some of my best friends are Jewish folks. "






Von Berger's picture

Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

True Blue's picture

I said it before, when these 'ghost cities' were being built and I will say it again.

These are not 'ghost cities' they are replacement cities; evacuation centers on steroids.

China did not have any 'need' economically speaking to build these cities for any other reason. It is a communist command economy -remember? These cities exist as 'backups' in the event that one or more major cities are wiped out by the WWIII the world is teetering on the brink of.

And now, they are suddenly and without fanfare being populated by 'mostly government' and supposed 'private' industrial concerns (that just happen to be wartime essential; like the chemical industry.)



Sinophile's picture

None of you idiots get it.  What China has done with 'ghost' cities all over the nation is this:  They have created hard infrastructure with air money.  When everything crashes that infrastructure will still be in place.  And, the Chinese government will not have paid a single ounce of gold or silver for it.  VERY FUCKING SIMPLE!  THEY ARE BRILLIANT!

Von Berger's picture

It's life Jim but not as we know it.

sinbad2's picture

Is the fake Manhattan little Israel, like the real one?

Robert Trip's picture

No Black folks in the Chinese Manhattan.

That's a huge selling point or a big plus for renters.

Sounds like heaven.

roddy6667's picture

No blacks, No Jews, I love it here.

sonya55's picture

Agenda 21 must be mandated, World wide.

Batman11's picture

Talking of debt fuelled growth look at the US and UK:



After deleveraging since 2008, US private debt is slightly higher than it was before the debt deflation of the Great Depression.

Batman11's picture

Neoclassical economics doesn't look at private debt in the economy.

The debt builds up and the mainstream economists don't notice.

These mainstream economists live in the Fed and BoE, they have PhDs in bad economics.

RoBERTAZ's picture

IT is all crap. IT will all come down and like now. 

Batman11's picture

The Central banks are keeping this dead duck alive with ultra low interest rates and massive liquidity injections into the global financial system from the ECB and BoJ.

If we took it off Central Bank life support, we would find it had died some time ago.

ClowardPiven2016's picture

In a related story, China is government driven

Shed Boy's picture

"is mostly government driven,..." Yeah, whoda thunk a communist country would be "government driven. For that matter...so is the USA. Want to start a new business? Well, your going to need a business license to do that.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

Shining example of devaluing your currency for the sake of the economy and trade. Magical Manhattan waiting while the serfs were devalued back to the stone age in order to pay for it. Government planning at its best. Future archaeologists will go WTF??

Sinophile's picture

All that hard infratstructure has been built with air money.  It has not cost China a single ounce of gold or silver.  Think about what a brilliant move that was!

Herdee's picture

Here's what's happening with Gold. China has a three hundred year plan. They will and are bleeding the west of the physical. Here's how, it's happening slow but will pick up steam and have ramifications, especially on COMEX. Follow the logic on physical markets:




Sinophile's picture

And, they have built all that hard infrastructure with air money.  None of the ghost cities have cost China even a single ounce of gold or silver.  That hard infrastructure will still be standing after the restructuring of the global financial system.  Brilliant! 

aloha_snakbar's picture

Im thinking about going to fake Manhattan to see fake Times Square, maybe take in a fake show and later have a fake orgasm with a ChinHo; do they take fake dollars there?

Akzed's picture

do they take fake dollars there?


That's redundant.

Dre4dwolf's picture

Communism can never innovate, it needs a super power to emulate, copy, and rip off, THE WEST BUILT MODERN DAY CHINA.


gethipp's picture

Is there a Chinatown?

aloha_snakbar's picture

I have a Chinatown I built in my backyard using popsicle sticks and dried dog feces...

Sinophile's picture

None of you idiots get it.  What China has done with 'ghost' cities all over the nation is this:  They have created hard infrastructure with air money.  When everything crashes that infrastructure will still be in place.  And, the Chinese government will not have paid a single ounce of gold or silver for it.  VERY FUCKING SIMPLE!  THEY ARE BRILLIANT!

Silver Savior's picture

Well I'll be a monkeys uncle! lol.