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When Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for AP’s new capital Amaravati, in October 2015, the idea of Xiongan, proposed new city in China, was not even borne and today a $12-billion airport project is nearing completion which will serve the proposed region of Xiongan. Chinese authorities have already started work on high speed rail connecting the region with Beijing last year in April when the announcement was made about the proposed city. Unlike in India where land acquisition for the project itself takes most of the time, private landownership doesn’t exist in China, where the party controls all. Perhaps that makes most of the difference between the two.
Xiongan, the proposed city will be a massive high-tech hub three times the size of New York City and aims to become the world’s most modern, sustainable city created by fiat. If Shenzhen earned the reputation as a factory for the world, the proposed city aims to become an innovation center that leads the world.
China’s big tech companies have already announced their plans to set up their centres in the city that is hardly 9 months old and still a work in progress. For example, Tencent who owns WeChat will set up a financial technology lab in Xiongan. Similarly, Alibaba, China’s answer to Amazon, will establish artificial intelligence units. However, none of the international businesses yet to make any announcement about their plans for the new city.
Unlike Shenzhen which became a manufacturing center that prioritized exports Xiongan will focus more on quality of life issues.