According to a new economic survey, it’s about time to make more room on China’s prestigious list of tier-one cities. A lot more room.
Generally, China is considered to have four first-tier cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. However, an annual study from The Rising Lab, a subsidiary of the Yicai Media Group, expects that it will soon be time to add 15 more, namely: Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Chongqing, Nanjing, Tianjin, Suzhou, Xi’an, Changsha, Shenyang, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Dongguan and Ningbo.
The study, which takes into account a city’s performance in five areas — concentration of commercial resources, the city as a hub, urban residents’ activity, diversity of life and future predictability — to determine which are the most “commercially charming,” labels these 15 cities as “emerging new first-tier cities.”
The two new additions to this vaunted class on this year’s survey are Zhengzhou and Dongguan. Zhengzhou because its central location in China allows it to be railway and transportation hub, and Dongguan because it has grown more “cosmopolitan” in recent years, somewhat altering its reputation as China’s sex trade capital following a massive crackdown a few years ago which turned many of the city’s red lights off.
“There were no Uniqlo stores in Dongguan four years ago, but the Japanese fashion retailer has 7 stores in the city now,” the study notes. “The number of Starbucks stores has increased from 13 in 2013 to 31.”
In other words: out with the sex balls, in with the frappuccinos!
According to CNBC, Chinese netizens find these rankings a bit hard to believe, concluding that “emerging new first tier cities” is just a nicer way of saying “second/third-tier cites,” and a way that more appeals to real estate developers and government officials.
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