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Tuesday22 July 2014

China to get a new skyscraper every five days for next three years

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Research prompts Financial Times to question whether boom means bust is on the way

China will top out a new skyscaper every five days for the next three years, according to new research.

The 2011 China Skyscraper City List, compiled by Motian City, a website for enthusiasts in the country, also points out that China and Taiwan already boast five of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.

Rapid urbanisation in the country and the resulting boom in construction means that China currently has more than 200 buildings over 500ft (152m) tall under construction – equivalent to the total number of existing skyscrapers in the United States.

China will have 800 buildings above this height by the end of 2016, the research claimed.

But Motian City’s research warns that there is a growing danger of white elephants being created as local authorities try to outdo each other. It warned that cities including Haikou, Kunming, Nanning and Dongguan were planning tall buildings without the necessary level of demand.

The Financial Times in London, meanwhile, noted economist Andrew Lawrence’s theory that the building of exceptionally tall buildings often foreshadowed major economic downturns.

The paper quoted Xianfang Ren, an economist with IHS Global Insight in Beijing.

She said: “Skyscrapers, which are extremely capital-intensive and steel-intensive, are also manifestations of potential pitfalls with the Chinese economy.”

However, she added that Beijing had made efforts to stave off a property bubble and shift the economy away from an investment-heavy growth model.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • Crazy.

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  • Des Dogioffski

    We are gearing up our tall building group to focus on this market. If we can use a standard structural/space planning design for a mid-sized skyscraper, whichg is able to take a range of cladding solutions, we can max our margins.

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  • Please can you check your maths. 365 x 3 divided by 5 = 219 sky scrapers that China will have to build over the next three years to satisfy your headline whereas the third paragraph says that half of the 50 skyscrapers completed over the next 6 years (i.e. only 25 over twice the period) are going to be in China. the one number is around 40 times higher than the other. Which is correct?

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  • Thanks for pointing out this discrepancy Jonathan. It seems that another survey, separate to the one from the Motian City website, was also quoted by our source. The article has now been corrected.
    Thanks,

    Will Hurst
    Associate Editor (News)

  • Stephen Guan

    Welcome to China.

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  • Many of these will be built without Planning Permission. I work for a developer in China who thought they could pay their way through the planning process. Any firm looking to China for projects must be very careful, things are never what they seem and are usually too good to be true. Watch out.

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