China’s 12 leading cities going global

May 2, 2018 / By  

China’s 12 leading cities are going global – and driving the innovation economy as they spearhead the next wave of the nation’s rise internationally and become world giants in information and technology.

In JLL’s latest research China12: China’s Cities Go Global, we explore how China’s top cities are no longer passively responding to government edicts or international capital flows, but rather becoming drivers of change in their own right – influencing urban landscapes and real estate markets globally as they adopt new technologies that are destined to change the way we live and work in cities.

Innovation, internationalisation, and influence

As China’s economy and society enter a new era, its leading cities are becoming hubs of innovation, global interaction, and influence. Home to a new generation of tech-savvy firms, the China12 are extending their global influence and forging ever-deeper linkages abroad.

Future-proofing with Chinese characteristics

The focus of the China12 cities extends beyond traditional drivers to include future-proofing credentials. These cities are ready to embrace change through their innovative platforms, business operating environments, and overall livability.

Introducing the China12: A New Evolution Curve

Figure 1: China12: A New Evolution Curve

Global contenders

Shanghai and Beijing, ranked as global contenders, stand out among the China12 on key future-proofing metrics. This duo is on track to join the elite group of the world’s most globally connected and powerful cities within the next five years. Further boosting their innovation capabilities, deepening their talent pools, and improving their environmental quality will help boost their standings on the world stage.

Enterpriser economies

Shenzhen is one of the key China12 to watch. While Shanghai and Beijing remain ahead of the pack, Shenzhen is catching up and scores well on its future-proofing credentials. Its enterprising economy is attracting talent from across the country, and the city’s track record of developing innovative corporates is driving the city forward. Research and development, biotech, IT, financial services, and advanced manufacturing are driving momentum for Guangzhou.

China12 powerhouses

Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Wuhan are among the most prominent powerhouses of the China12. Benefitting from enhanced connectivity and rapidly developing business ecosystems, they are forming (with Shanghai) a truly global mega-cluster of innovation along the Yangtze River corridor.

Boasting impressive economic engines of growth, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Xi’an comprise the remaining powerhouses of the China12. They score well on traditional measures of performance, but will need to reposition themselves – by cultivating and retaining talent, attracting entrepreneurs, battling pollution, and supporting next generation companies – as China moves up the value chain.

Hong Kong holds a unique position in the network of Chinese cities and with its relationships with the China12. A major world city, its strength as a global connector, critical mass of business functions, and attractive business environment makes it well-positioned to play a key role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – China’s ambitious plan to develop infrastructure, finance, and construction projects globally across 65 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

To read the full report, download China12: China’s Cities Go Global here.

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