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Hangzhou Bay bridge to open

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It’s official, the Hangzhou Bay bridge, which connects Ningbo (my hometown) and Shanghai (to be more precise, connects Ci Xi to Jiang Xing 南起浙江宁波慈溪市,北至浙江嘉兴海盐县), will open on this May, according to Ningbo goverment offical. Chinese news from Xinhuanet here.

Hangzhou bay bridge Ningbo Shanghai
(source: sohu)

At this time this is the longest sea crossing bridge in the world (36 km, or 22.5 miles). A new Hangzhou Bay railway bridge is also under planning (Chinese).

Dream come true
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Shanghai south railway station

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We went to the new (new to me) Shanghai south railway station yesterday. I was very impressed by the structure. It’s in deep constrast to the older Shanghai railway station (built in 1980s). The lights and landscape around the station are also very nice. Since I did not bring the camera, here are some pictures I found on the web.

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Buying house in Shanghai Series: II

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First a little background. Like the Chinese stock market, the Chinese real estate market has a brief history and I talked it a bit in my previous E-House post. Also, China is a big country and the real estate market varies by region, for instance, the Shenzhen market is cooling down lately while Shanghai market is becoming hot. Very much like in the US we could see Dallas and Seattle are still doing ok, while California, Las Vegas etc. are cooling down now.


The picture above is taked from Vanke White Horse Garden in Shanghai (courstey of, for more pics click here).

With that in mind, I am talking about my understanding the Shanghai housing market, in Q&A style.

1) Why the price went up so much lately?
It’s mostly supply and demand. The new supply is very limited in 2005 and 2006 because: the prevailing prices did not spur interest from developers to build new homes; the new supply of land is very limited.

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Best buy in Shanghai

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Last Saturday we went to Xu Jia Hui, one of the better known shopping centers in Shanghai. I voguely remember there were not too much when my bro and I visited there in 1991. It was completely developed in last 15 years. There are many stores, including Gang Hui Plaza, Metro City, etc. We found the newest store in Xu Jia Hui, Best Buy, the US electronics and applicance retailer. I heard from Wang Jianshuo the Best Buy opened its first store in Shanghai. But when I stood at the sky bridge leading to Best Buy, I was still a bit surprised. The store has 4 stories and lots of people, both customers and store clerks. Here are some pictures:


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Shanghai report: income vs. spending

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Shanghai is an expensive city. I’m not talking about the red hot housing market, we all know the housing is getting very expensive here. I was talking about the relative income vs. spending.

Yesterday evening an old friend of mine, who works for a investment research firm, told me a fresh graduate is paid CNY 3,000. This is actully fairly high pay for new college graduate, cosidering financial is a hot area, and the fresh graduate is from Tsinghua/Bei Da (think that as MIT, or Harvard of China), with very good spoken English.

Experienced people are paid more. I learned from anothetr friend who is a HR executive, about 10% of people makes more than CNY 10,000 per month. Note this is also the threshold of income tax.

In the IT arena, I know some senior developer positions at MSFT pays more than 20,000 Yuan per month. I believe other multinational companies should have equivalent pay.

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iPod and Crocs in Shanghai

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Got back to Shanghai in the weekend; my limit observations in past 2 days suggest those two are hot besides the weather. Don’t run and buy stocks solely based on this.

Crocs: I saw people wearing Crocs near Zhongshan Park, at Hongqiao Parkson Shopping Mall and Jinjiang Chef (restaurant). Today my co-worker told me this thing was selling very well in the mall. I saw a guy wearing red crocs while riding motor cycle; and girl wearing Jibbitz too.

Apple iPod: by now probablly everyone in the US (who can get iPod) already got one (hint: yours truely also got one). But in China this iPod trend is in the early innings. Mac is also sold here. Maybe the iPhone will follow after everyone in the US got one?