Hundreds of demonstrators have marched through a glitzy Shanghai shopping district protesting against changes to housing regulations, in a rare show of public dissent in the financial hub, the South China Morning Post reports. Protesters were angry about measures announced on May 17 to “clean-up and rectify” office projects that had been converted into flats. It is a grey area property developers had exploited by acquiring land cheaply outside of residential zones. The government measures, part of a bid to keep property prices in check, require developers and buyers to remove alterations like separately installed toilets and kitchens before the converted flats can be sold on. This effectively renders them uninhabitable and worth a fraction of their purchase price. A total of 17 million square meters of such projects were targeted by the campaign, the Shanghai government said on its social media account, of which five million square meters had already been delivered to buyers.
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