Nanjing man stages 'crab protest' against city's soaring house prices

Protester says property developers as stubborn as crabs

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 12:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 4:19pm

A Nanjing man, angry at the city’s rising property prices, staged an unusual protest on Thursday. He walked with six crabs to the annual housing expo held in the Jiangsu capital and told people high property prices were getting out of control.

Developers were as arrogant as "crawling crabs," he said.

Pictures shared online by bloggers showed the man, in sunglasses, walking into the venue with several crabs, each tied to a string and bearing a sticker on its shell. The stickers read: “high housing prices" and "high land prices." 


The man, whose identity was not revealed, complained he could not afford to buy a flat since even price for new apartments at remote parts of the city had passed 10,000 yuan per square metre.

Wei Dan, a Nanjing native living in Hong Kong, said house price in the city is "abnormally" high given the relatively moderate income of its residents.

"For the same money, you can buy a better apartment in Guangzhou," she said, comparing the two provincial capitals.

Home-price gap between first-tier and provincial cities in China had widened further in the past 10 years, according to real estate experts.

In a bid to rein in property prices, China’s ex-premier Wen Jiabao ordered the People's Bank of China to raise down payment requirements in March for second mortgages in cities with excessive cost gains. Wen's successor, Premier Li Keqiang, has not announced any additional measures.

As the government refrains from imposing further curbs to cool the market, home prices has continued to rise. The National Bureau of Statistics said new home prices in the mainland's four major cities rose the most since January 2011 last month, led by a 19 per cent jump in Guangzhou.

Beijing and Shanghai prices climbed 15 per cent from a year earlier, while in Shenzhen they gained 18 per cent, it said.

Read more SCMP China Insider stories written by Amy Li or follow her on Twitter