Real estate has been the single most important sector in the Chinese economy since the 2008 global financial crisis and the decline in the market since the start of this year has led to a broader slowdown in investment and factory output.
Facing an increasingly dire situation, many developers across the country have resorted to gimmicks and publicity stunts to attract buyers.
In the relatively poor southern city of Nanning last weekend, one developer offered prospective customers 1,000 free live chickens at the opening of its latest real estate project, with a promise that “if you can catch them they’re yours”.
In Sichuan province, one developer hired a group of leggy models in extremely short skirts and made them stand around outside the opening of its latest project holding signs reading “buy our apartments to benefit the nation and the people”.
Buy one, get free chickens – Chinese developers resort to gimmicks
The recent growth in manufacturing imports to the US is largely a consequence of China’s emergence on the global stage coupled with its deep comparative advantage in labour-intensive goods. The jobs in apparel, furniture, shoes, and other wage-sensitive products that the United States has lost to China are unlikely to return. Even as China’s labour costs rise, the factories that produce these goods are more likely to relocate to Bangladesh, Vietnam, or other countries rising in China’s wake than to reappear on US shores.
Further, China’s impact on US manufacturing is far from complete. During the 2000s, the country rapidly expanded into the assembly of laptops and cell-phones, with production occurring increasingly under Chinese brands, such as Lenovo and Huawei. Despite this rather bleak panorama, there are sources of hope for manufacturing in the United States. Perhaps the most encouraging sign is that the response of many companies to increased trade pressure has been to increase investment in innovation (Bloom et al. 2011). The ensuing advance in technology may ultimately help create new markets for US producers. However, if the trend toward the automation of routine jobs in manufacturing continues (Autor and Dorn 2013), the application of these new technologies is likely to do much more to boost growth in value added than to expand employment on the factory floor.
The rise of China and the future of US manufacturing
In July, Pujiang county in Zhejiang province [in China] announced a program allowing children of parents who gave blood to get extra points on their high school entrance exams. Under the program, local children of “gold medal” donors offering 8,000 milliliters would be granted an extra three points, while children of “silver medal” donors and “bronze medal” donors who gave comparatively less blood could be given an additional two and one points, respectively.
The policy burst into the national limelight this week, when a Weibo user posted a photo of a bandaged arm, saying, “For my future child, I say one thing: Relax when you take the high school entrance exam. Your dad’s already helped you gain points.” The post was widely shared. Though the user declined to be interviewed by China Real Time, he also clarified his original post, saying that he had in fact been giving blood since age 18.
Pricks-For-Points Blood Offer Raises Brows in Test-Mad China
Here’s how it could play out, according to Silvercrest’s Chovanec.
“When property developers can’t get more credit, they have to slash prices to unload their unsold inventories (and pay back their debts), which gives investors second thoughts about whether to continue plowing their money into property,” he said.
“Sales dry up, prices fall, new [housing] starts dry up, construction dries up, sales of construction equipment, concrete, and steel dry up, land sales dry up, local government revenues disappear and they can’t pay their debts … in other words, falling asset prices undercut the basis for both past and future lending, and you’ve got a real system-wide problem,” Chovanec added.
China real-estate: A bubble bursting
Existing research on the extensive Chinese censorship organization uses observational methods with well-known limitations. We conducted the first large-scale experimental study of censorship by creating accounts on numerous social media sites, randomly submitting different texts, and observing from a worldwide network of computers which texts were censored and which were not. We also supplemented interviews with confidential sources by creating our own social media site, contracting with Chinese firms to install the same censoring technologies as existing sites, and—with their software, documentation, and even customer support—reverse-engineering how it all works.
Our results offer rigorous support for the recent hypothesis that criticisms of the state, its leaders, and their policies are published, whereas posts about real-world events with collective action potential are censored.
Reverse-engineering censorship in China: Randomized experimentation and participant observation.
With a nominal gross domestic product of nearly $17 trillion, the U.S. is easily the world’s largest economy. Naturally, a small change in U.S. GDP can have a lasting impact on the economies of less developed countries.
An analysis conducted by Credit Suisse shows the degree to which an increase in U.S. GDP causes GDP shifts in select emerging nations. For instance, a 1% increase in U.S. GDP leads to around a 1% increase in Russia’s GDP after one quarter and around a 3% increase after four quarters.
This suggests that Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Turkey are all heavily reliant on a stable U.S. economy. Nations like China, India, Poland, and Indonesia, while still quite benefited by a healthy U.S., are less dependent.
A number of rural areas of Xinjiang province in China have deployed crime-fighting geese as a replacement for dogs, the traditional police animal partner.
“Among all poultry, geese [are known] for being extremely vigilant and having excellent hearing,” county police chief Zhang Quansheng told the paper. “Geese are very brave. They spread their wings and will attack any strangers entering [someone’s] home,” he said, “like a radar that does not need power.”
Potential intruders or thieves would have trouble quieting the geese once they have already been startled. Geese are also less susceptible to some of the weaknesses of dogs.
“In some ways, they are more useful than dogs; a household normally keeps one dog [but] an intruder can throw a drugged bun to kill the dog.”
Following the success of the trial, geese are now being actively promoted across the region.