Shenzhen saw the most growth of all the mainland’s so-called “top tier” cities in the first three months of this year.
The South China Morning Post reports that the 6.5 percent year-on-year economic growth registered by China’s tech hub in the first quarter exceeded that of Shanghai and Beijing, with gross domestic product (GDP) for January to March reaching 777.2 billion yuan (around 9 billion patacas).
Shenzhen also widened the gap with close neighbour Hong Kong, which posted just 2.7 percent growth for the same period, the Post says.
The southern Chinese metropolis – dubbed “China’s Silicon Valley” – was able to perform well in spite of US restrictions on its technology exports. Dozens of enterprises in Shenzhen, notably telecommunications behemoth Huawei, are also banned from buying US parts and technology.
The chief economist for Asia-Pacific at French investment bank Natixis, Alicia Garcia-Herrero, told the Post that Shenzhen had “huge potential”.
However, she cautioned that its continued growth depended on the Chinese government’s ability to “support innovation financially, given that the public debt has really ballooned” and also on “the private sector’s incentives to innovate” in the face of what she described as an “increasingly hostile regulatory system”.