High stakes involved in Shenzhen's concrete scandal

Recent reports of some property developers using unsuitable materials for construction in Shenzhen have rung the alarm bells over building and public safety.

Over the past two decades, Shenzhen has awed many with its construction prowess, building upwards and sideways at jaw-dropping speed and scale. But recently, reports of some property developers using unsuitable materials for construction have rung the alarm bells over building and public safety. Urgent investigation is needed.

Wednesday, 20 March, 2013, 3:11am

Exposé cracks confidence in building safety

Developers are accused of using substandard sand in concrete.

Safety fears and uncertainty struck Shenzhen's property sector after the city government revoked the licence of a major company over substandard building material and halted the construction of what was to be the country's tallest building.

19 Mar 2013 - 4:19am

Concrete scandal weighs on listed cement majors

An artist's impression of the Ping An International Finance Centre.

Big mainland cement firms took a hit on the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, following news of a construction scandal in Shenzhen and a possible central government investigation into alleged cartel pricing.

19 Mar 2013 - 5:27am

Shenzhen construction on hold after alert over cheap sand in concrete

An artist's impression of the Pingan Financial Centre.

More projects are likely to be affected as the Shenzhen government ordered a citywide inspection into the practice, which they said was common throughout the Pearl River Delta. Untreated sea sand contains high levels of salt and chloride that could corrode steel reinforcements, causing buildings to collapse.

16 Mar 2013 - 4:57am 1 comment

Shenzhen builds canopy to protect tree planted by ex-president Hu Jintao

The laurel tree which has received special care in Shenzhen and sparked discussion online. Photo: Weibo/SCMP pictures

Backpackers and homeless people in Shenzhen might now consider sleeping under a laurel tree in the city’s Lianhuashan Park.

After all, it’s sheltered, has a great view and is free.

15 Mar 2013 - 4:46pm

Shenzhen looks to stop abuse of multi-entry permit

Gary Chan Hak-kan

Shenzhen authorities will look at ways to limit mainlanders' trips to Hong Kong under the multiple-entry permit scheme amid allegations that it is being abused by parallel-goods traders. A pro-government lawmaker said this yesterday after meeting officials in the neighbouring city.

7 Mar 2013 - 4:13am 1 comment

Can real reform take root in Qianhai?

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

Experts remain divided on whether Qianhai will meet its lofty goal of helping to transform today's China like the first special economic zones in Shenzhen and Zhuhai did 30 years ago.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:42am 1 comment

Running clinics in Shenzhen difficult for Hong Kong doctors

Private clinics charge about 500 yuan for a single consultation in Shenzhen, about three to five times more than hospital outpatient departments. Photo: SCMP

Hong Kong general practitioners operating clinics across the border have been have been facing tough challenges despite a huge market for quality medical services on the mainland.

26 Feb 2013 - 2:29pm

Shenzhen sets limits for frequent Hong Kong visitors

Customs says “the law is the law” – and there will be no exceptions when the two-tin milk powder restriction comes in. Photo: Sam Tsang

Visitors who frequently cross the border are now barred from carrying anything other than "essential" items on any trip in the 15 days after they first enter Hong Kong under a new measure that came into force this month, according to the customs department here.

7 Feb 2013 - 11:24am 3 comments

Expand school allocation system to Shenzhen: principal

Eddie Ng Hak-kim. Photo: David Wong

The "school net" system under which primary school places are allocated based on where children live should be extended into Shenzhen, a veteran school principal has said.

6 Feb 2013 - 7:30am 1 comment

Banks take lead in fulfilling Qianhai's Manhattan dream

The long-awaited Qianhai project finally kicked off last week.

After many years of talk, the long-awaited Qianhai special zone finally kicked off last week. As part of the project, 15 banks in Hong Kong will be allowed to offer a combined two billion yuan (HK$2.46 billion) in loans to companies in the zone next to Shenzhen.

5 Feb 2013 - 4:33am

Qianhai - a small zone with a big role

Hong Kong will advise on Qianhai's financial services. Photo: Reuters

Qianhai, in Shenzhen, may be the smallest of the dozen experimental zones on the mainland - which include Nansha in Guangzhou and Hengqin in Zhuhai - but its role is arguably the most significant.

29 Jan 2013 - 4:56am

Qianhai experimental zone won't be expanded, says Shenzhen mayor

Shenzhen mayor Xu Qin. Photo: May Tse

"The current priority for Qianhai will be turning the 15 square kilometres into a high-level, high-quality, and high value-added modern service industrial zone. As for the issue of expansion, we have not touched on that yet," Shenzhen Mayor Xu Qin said at a media briefing when asked about speculation that officials overseeing the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone were going to expand the Qianhai area.

28 Jan 2013 - 5:59am

Qianhai as the 'Connecticut' of the PRD

An aerial view of Qianhai area. Photo: Reuters

I have news for the Qianhai authorities. People I know in the investment business in New York either congratulate themselves on having long moved out of Manhattan or are grousing at being stuck there.

24 Jan 2013 - 4:58am

Tourists stone hibernating crocodiles

Crocodiles hibernating in a Shenzhen park. Photo: screenshot from Weibo

In China curiosity, it seems, killed not only the cat, but also the crocodile.

Several hibernating crocodiles in a Shenzhen park were killed by curious tourists who attacked them with stones , the Shenzhen Evening News reported on Thursday.

18 Jan 2013 - 12:54pm 6 comments