China Market Watch: Growth in 2016 Outbound Tourism, China’s Northern Airport Cluster

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Chinese outbound tourism spending grew 12 percent in 2016

Data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) shows that China’s outbound tourism spending grew by 12 percent in 2016, increasing by US$11 billion to reach a total of US$261 billion. China has been the world’s largest outbound tourism market since 2012, and has witnessed double-digit growth in the sector each year.

Top destinations for Chinese tourists include Japan, Thailand, South Korea, the US, and several European countries. The US, Germany, UK, France, and Italy, all included in the top ten rankings of outbound tourism, also recorded strong outbound growth in 2016.

Plans for northern China’s next airport cluster

During this year’s tomb-sweeping festival, Shijiazhuang’s Zhending International Airport in Hebei province recorded a 50 percent year-on-year increase of passengers coming from neighboring Beijing.

28 percent of domestic airlines currently serving Beijing Capital International Airport will be transferred to Zhending Airport and other neighboring airports such as Tianjin Binhai Airport. The push to form an airport cluster will further promote integrated development in the Jing-Jin-Ji region (comprised of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei), according to the coordinated development guideline released at the end of last year.

The guideline details that the Tianjin Binhai Airport will deal mostly with freight and cargo, while Shijiazhuang Zhending Airport will serve budget passenger airlines. Beijing Capital Airport has already reached full capacity, and construction of another airport in Beijing’s Daxing district has started, which is expected to be operational in 2019.

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Beijing to build 1.5 million homes

Beijing’s municipal government has released plans to build around 1.5 million housing units over 60 million square meters in the next five years. The plan will help alleviate increasing house prices and shortages, following a series of restrictions rolled out in March aimed mostly at homebuyers. Because of the restrictions, property sales dropped by 83 percent over the Tomb Sweeping holiday period, a four-year low.

Beijing will double its land supply this year, with most of the plots located in Beijing’s northern and suburban areas. Beijing’s average house prices increased by more than 63 percent from October 2015 to February 2017, reaching RMB 60,738 (US$8,820) per square meter.

China’s cloud computing industry expected to reach RMB 430 billion in 2019

The government has made a statement that China’s cloud computing industry is set to be worth around RMB 430 billion (US$62 billion) by 2019. The industry witnessed 30 percent growth in 2015, and industry leaders doubled their revenue in 2016

However, the industry still tussles with legal issues, redundant data centers, and security challenges. The government has released a three year plan which will support cloud computing to provide services to manufacturers and government offices. Cloud computing was also named a priority in the 12th Five Year Plan.

In the last few years, many foreign enterprises have entered the Chinese market by forming joint ventures. Recently, China’s Huawei announced a plan to build a US$400,000 data center in New Zealand within the next two years.


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Dezan Shira & Associates is a full service practice in China, providing business intelligence, due diligence, legal, tax, IT, HR, payroll, and advisory services throughout the China and Asian region. For assistance with China business issues or investments into China, please contact us at or visit us at

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