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  • Home > News > Details
    Chinese construction tycoon to invest $39 billion in smart city

    Yan Jiehe, one of China's wealthiest businessmen, said he plans on spending 250 billion yuan ($39 billion) to build a first-class smart city in South China's Guangdong province.

    The proposed project will cover an area of some 100 square km in Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone, which was established in 2011 and jointly governed by the Shenzhen and Shanwei municipal governments in Guangdong province.

    According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the city will host a population of 250,000 with its primary focus to be on educationĀ and the medical sector.

    "It will beat any other smart city in the world," said Yan, founder of China Pacific Construction Group. Yan and his son were listed as the sixth-richest people in Chinese mainland by the latest Hurun report, with a fortune estimated at 91 billion yuan.

    Yan, whose Pacific Group ranked 166 last year on Fortune's Global 500, has become one of the top builders for local officials. The smart city project, named "my college, my city" by Yan, will invite architects of the top five cities in the world for bidding.

    As per the China Times, the architects will be paid in advance, meaning all their designs will belong to him regardless of the outcome of the bid.The winning bidder will extract the essence of all five designs from the five architects and mix them with the requirements of Yan himself.

    "There will be no overpasses nor traffic lights in the city and people have to use tunnels to cross a river to preserve the natural landscape," Yan said, adding that the "world's most beautiful city" will take ten years to build.

    He said the world's leading academics in social sciences will be invited to teach at his college and only "rich people" are welcome to settle in the city.

    "My definition of being rich is not only having financial strength but also being well educated and noble-minded," he said in a SCMP report. "I don't sell properties to those who get rich overnight and appear to be uncivilized."

    When asked whether the city risks becoming another ghost town, Yan denied the prediction. "Most ghost towns are a result of over intervention by local governments, which goes against the laws of a market economy. I will spend my own money and I will be responsible to myself, to the government, and to society."

    Yan, 55, began his career as a middle school teacher and a civil servant for Jiangsu province. He established the China Pacific Construction Group in 1995. Since then, it hasĀ become China's largest private builder company. The group has engaged in numerous mega-projects including the suburban Lanzhou, where they leveled 700 mountains to make way for a new city.

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