Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s window city into the mainland, is known for its progressive reforms and economic openness. It may be famous for repelling the young and the driving forces of innovation. Translated from Southern Metro Weekly magazine and others:
Depression is on the rise in Shenzhen over the past few years, along with the skyrocketing housing prices and living costs in this immigrant city in southern China. And suicide is becoming the biggest killer in town, claiming 2,000 lives a year for several years, more than double the fatalities of traffic accidents of 900 a year. [Full Text in Chinese via sohu]
Writer Guo Zhongxiao (Âëô‰∏≠Ê†°) became an overnight celebrity with his article “Shenzhen, Who Abandoned You?” back in late 2002. He himself chose to leave Shenzhen and started working in Hong Kong in 2004. He told the reporter that Shenzhen is driving away a lot of the young working force, many of whom are college graduates with a few years of working experiences in the booming immigrant city. Outrageous housing prices, increasing living costs and lack of “belonging-ness” are the main reasons why more and more people are feeling stressed and want their way out.
At the same time, Shenzhen is losing its edge in the early years of reform and opening up, as Beijing is paying more attention to the development of other parts of China, such as Tianjin, Chongqing and Chengdu. And Shenzhen is also losing its advantage in salaries, as people can find better paid jobs in other major cities. The efforts of Shenzhen’s local government in reforming itself are losing steam too. [Full Text in Chinese]
[Image: Deng Xiaoping’s poster in Shenzhen, via geocities.com]