Lil’ loving for lil’ Kim
National holiday break approaches and you just want to put on a little Jay Chou, pour a glass of your finest Dynasty and catch up on some much needed time with that special someone. For Kim Jong Un, life is just one long national holiday where a whole country waits on you hand and foot. But compared with his father, we doubt that Kim is getting any more lovin’ from his countrymen – signs are that things are as grim as ever in North Korea despite a well played PR campaign. On Wednesday, Chinese and North Korean officials teamed up to sell mainland businesses on investing in DPRK’s recently created special economic zones. “You get not one, not two but three whole malnourished workers, for the low, low price of one bowl of rice,” one pitchman purportedly told the crowd. Despite that time-tested technique, they were largely spurned by businesses. “North Korea is more miserable and dangerous than a Foxconn factory,” said one business leader, who asked not to be identified because he is a Foxconn executive. “Seriously, that place looks as grim as ever.” Lacking for economic love, Kim seems all the more likely to act out Kim Jong Il- style. Where can a leader of an impoverished rogue nation turn for attention that could be at the same time completely inconsequential and cause a major international stir? It seems the time is right for Kim to lobby his Chinese patrons for a little island vacation.
Guangzhou policy leaves riches on the street
Tycoons in Guangzhou could soon find themselves dwelling miserably among the masses. The city will curtail the sale of luxury properties to rein in real estate prices, an official at the city’s Municipal Land Resources and Housing Administrative Bureau city official recently said on Weibo. (The media-savvy cadre followed the tweet up with a few racy photos of Chen Guanxi, as well as some possible explanations for Xi Jinping’s recent disappearance.) The news is distressing for the southern city’s multimillionaires, who will no doubt miss out on teeing off from back patios they could otherwise have owned. All is not lost, however. The Cantonese have long championed Chinese efforts to relocate the country’s wealth abroad. Home owners in cities such as Auckland and Sydney will certainly appreciate the boosts to local real estate markets this growing number of so-called “naked merchants” will deliver. At the same time, given the already high level of property speculation in the region, Bentley-driving entrepreneurs can still enjoy their privacy in the empty apartment blocks they already own. While absent the duck pond and Suzhou-style tea garden, a couple floors in an average apartment building will most likely suffice in storing wine collections and housing the personal Fengshui masters popular in the superstitious south.