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In China, Shenzhen's growth overshadows Hong Kong


Beijing wants to turn this city of 12 million people into the capital of high-tech. An ambition that does not leave the former British colony indifferent.

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While Hong Kong's growth is 2% to 3% a year, its neighbor Shenzhen, located in mainland China on the other side of the border, is over 7%. PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP

Shenzhen laughing, Hong Kong crying. While the latter is plunged into the heart of an unprecedented existential crisis, her neighbor, located in mainland China, just across the border, sees instead the future in pink. On Sunday, August 18, at the same time that more than a million and a half Hong Kongese again protested against the local government and against Beijing, the Chinese authorities made public a decision made by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on July 24: Shenzhen was to become "a demonstration zone of Chinese-style socialism". Admittedly, the expression does not dream. No doubt on purpose. Because, to look at it, it is neither more nor less than to make Shenzhen the new laboratory of the Chinese-style capitalism.

The timetable is ambitious: by 2025, Shenzhen must be among the most important cities in the world " for the strength of its economy and the quality of its development ." And, ten years later, this city of 12 million people must become a " national model of high quality development and a center of innovation and entrepreneurship recognized worldwide."

Technological Nuggets

In 1978, Deng Xiaoping chose this small fishing village to embody the opening of the country to the world. Success exceeded his expectations. Forty years later, Shenzhen is home to some tech nuggets like telecom equipment giant Huawei, the world leader in civilian DJI drones, and Internet champion Tencent, whose Wechat messaging app is the most popular in China. It is now to go further, especially by making this Chinese high-tech capital a "new type of global financial center." In order to facilitate "the internationalization of the yuan", which represents only 4% of global currency transactions, while China produces about 15% of global GDP, Shenzhen will have to "relax restrictions on capital flows on a trial basis" .

Source: lemonde

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