Shenzhen’s unaffordable home prices could hurt Beijing’s plan to turn the Greater Bay Area tech hub into model city



a view of a city: Shenzhen has been granted autonomy by Beijing on a wide range of local policies, from land use to hiring global talent. Photo: Xinhua


Shenzhen has been granted autonomy by Beijing on a wide range of local policies, from land use to hiring global talent. Photo: Xinhua

Beijing’s blueprint to develop Shenzhen and showcase it a centrepiece of its economic reform and attract talent could hit a major stumbling block in the form of unaffordable housing prices, say analysts.

As part of a five-year plan to build the city into a “core engine” of reform by 2025, Shenzhen has been granted greater autonomy in using rural land for development purposes. The move, which will ease land supply crunch, is aimed at reining in escalating home prices and making the city more affordable to live. It was speculated that Beijing would give Shenzhen “additional land” by allowing it to absorb some neighbouring towns into its territory, but the central government did not do so.

“Home prices take up a major chunk of the cost of

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Hong Kong murder suspect plans to turn himself in to Taiwan

HONG KONG – A Hong Kong murder suspect, whose case led the government to attempt to pass an extradition bill last year that sparked massive protests, is expected to return to Taiwan this month to answer the charges of killing his girlfriend.

Chan Tong-kai, who is accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan in February 2018 before fleeing back to Hong Kong, said Friday that his lawyer was arranging for his return to the self-ruled island.

In a voice recording released to media, Chan apologized to the Poon’s parents.

“My determination to go back to Taiwan and hand myself in has never changed, please do not worry,” Chan said in the recording.

When Chan returned to Hong Kong in 2018, he was charged with money laundering for taking Poon’s money and valuables, and served a prison sentence before being released in October last year.

However, he could

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