East Zhengzhou rises
Updated: 2013-05-16 05:07
By Ed Zhang and Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)
The Henan Art Center in Zhengdong New District's business area. [Photo/China Daily]
Editor's note: With strategic impetus from the nation's top leaders, China's urbanization process has never been so fast and so widespread.
How many cities it is building? How many new companies are growing up with these cities? No one knows - because things change all the time.
But what we do know, through China Daily journalists' daily reporting trips, is that each city is trying to build a new zone, and each is trying to differentiate itself from its past by carving a new business niche.
Beginning today, we will run a weekly column featuring the various cities, large and small, that are learning new lessons, coming up with new designs, building new global business ties and shaping new business models.
In today's edition of "New city, new business", we feature two ambitious plans of Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province, as reported by our business reporters Ed Zhang and Zheng Yangpeng.
Zhengzhou has two new zones. One is the Zhengdong New District. As a completely new wing of the city, it now features clusters of financial services and education facilities along with new residential estates.
The other new zone is the Zhengzhou Comprehensive Experimental Zone for the Airport-Based Economy, approved by the central government only recently, as a much larger business area to tap the potential of the city's air transportation hub.
Looking around the newly developed area of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, from the top of the 280-meter tall Millennium Plaza, a modern office and hotel tower styled after a classical Chinese pagoda, is almost a surreal experience.
The tower is one of the landmarks of the Zhengdong New District, known as ZND, looking over the 3.45-square kilometer central business district area.
Next to Millennium Plaza is an arts complex, styled after ancient musical instruments from Henan province, and a massive exhibition center that resembles an open umbrella.
An artificial canal links the CBD area to a vast lakefront and to a new cluster of skyscrapers, which will form a sub-CBD area.
What do these ultra-modern buildings stand for beside the 160 billion yuan ($25.8 billion) investment that was used to build them? In what way are they different from, for instance, the college-packed and research-heavy Zhongguancun area of Beijing, or the financial hub in Shanghai's Lujiazui, or all the export-oriented industrial towns along the coast?
Of the 7.6 billion yuan in tax revenue generated by the ZND last year, 4 billion yuan was collected from the CBD area, which only accounts for about 3 percent of the district's area.