Wall Street Arrives In Beijing

[ By Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Senior Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates ]

Visitors to Beijing, even long term residents, may be unaware of the development that has taken place the past two years to the west of the district. Yet here it is, a brand new, gleaming city, with its own specific character, home to some of China and the world?s best known financial institutions. Beijing?s Financial Street has arrived. The upcoming Olympics will doubtlessly increase the exposure of the street?s massive wealth and influence to the many visiting international banking executives such as Visa, highlighting the importance of what has become almost a quiet, yet complete, redevelopment of the nation?s finances and financial political geography.

This issue of China Briefing concentrates on the story behind this impressive area, the significance behind it, and the architects, designers, banks and hoteliers that have made the Beijing Financial Street, in a little over two years, the most influential financial powerhouse in the country. It is a district with the potential to rival Tokyo.

The beginnings

The Financial Street was initially planned by the local government of Xicheng District approximately 15 years ago. Over the past decade, the development of the Financial Street has been slow. Only in the past three to four years has the area begun to emerge as an important office submarket and retail catchments area in the capital city.

The previous use for the area had been, during Qing Dynasty court times, as a home for minor royalty, nobility, and artisans to the court at the Forbidden City. Many courtyard homes were built here, typically modest from the outside, yet opulent once inside the main gates. Not for nothing does an old Beijing saying hold true, scathing of new merchant?s incomes:
?The people living in the east are the wealthiest, while people living in the west are the most traditionally noble.?

Next :
Development and Who?s Who

To know more, the whole issue is available (after a free subscription) on China Briefing website with others archives
For more information on China’s legal and tax issues or to ask for professional advices in related matters, please write to info@dezshira.com


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