It’s probably not what Chinese leaders meant when they first opened the country and encouraged people to learn from the West. Chinese citizens, once concerned with lofty political ideals, now seem absorbed in the lives of movie stars – just like their counterparts in the US. The decision by actress Gong Li to say “Farewell My Citizenship” and become a Singaporean has caused some online outrage by those who consider her a traitor for doing so.
While those critics believe that there’s no place like home, the price of their homes isn’t as hot as it used to be. Home prices in 70 major cities last month grew at their slowest pace since 2005: a mere 1.6% year-on-year. Housing prices in 10 cities declined, with Shenzhen’s plunging 12.6%. If you’re looking for a place to buy a home where prices haven’t turned as cold, grab your winter coat and head to Yingchuan, the capital of Ningxia, where housing prices rose 11.4%.
China continues to hold the home-court advantage when it comes to international trade. China’s October trade surplus surged by 30% to US$32.5 billion, hitting a new high for the third straight month. The surplus with the US rose 13.6% to US$17.5 billion. The surplus with Europe rose 12.2% to US$15.6 billion.
And don’t think the folks in the West are so busy with movie-star gossip that they don’t see business opportunities in China. Britain’s Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer, will boost its presence in China by opening new stores in Shandong and Fujian provinces next year. It will also continue to expand in Liaoning province – a name that hasn’t appeared in the Hollywood Reporter in quite some time.