Chinese construction company Yuanda (远大）has just signed a deal with the government of Changsha to build the world’s tallest building in Changsha. It is projected to be 838 meters high with 220 floors, 10 meters taller than the Dubai Tower. While Dubai Tower took 6 years to build, Yuanda plans to finish it in 7 months. That means each floor of this skyscraper will only take 5 hours to build. Yuanda is not just a bluffer, in 2010 it took only 15 days to build a 30-floor hotel in Changsha, a project that many international media used to symbolize the “China speed”. But this is exactly what I call the spectacles of state capitalism, this kind of project serves the government officials’ ambition and vanity rather than the needs of local communities or local economy. I have no doubt that Yuanda can build a safe skyscraper in 7 months, I just wonder how they will fill all the empty rooms.
But there are other stories of China Speed that truly cheer my up. For example, November 11 2011 (11/11/11) was a special holiday invented by Chinese young people, it was called the Day of the Singles. On that day, T-Mall, one of the biggest e-commerce sites in China, launched a special promotion campaign. When the campaign kicked off at the midnight of 11/11, in the first minute 3,420,000 people logged on the website, in 8 minutes transaction volume surpassed 100 million yuan. In the first hour, transaction volume reached 439 million yuan.