China to Develop Hebei’s Xiongan as Rival to Shenzhen and Pudong

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CDE Op-Ed Commentary

In what is fast becoming a rite of passage for Chinese leaders, President Xi Jinping has decreed that the Xiongan New District be created in Hebei, about 160 km south of Beijing. The area will be developed with similar incentives and infrastructure that were put in place with the creation of Shenzhen and the Pudong New Area by predecessors Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.

The Xiongan New District is set to include Anxin, Rongcheng, and Xiongxian counties around Hebei’s Baiyangdian Lake. It will initially be a 100 km2 area but will expand to more than 2,000 km2 over time, and will house facilities such as markets, schools, research institutions, and hospitals that will be relocated from Beijing. The area is expected to form a triad between Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei.

Xiongan Map China

To facilitate its development, Xi has promoted Xu Qin, previously the Party Secretary and Mayor of Shenzhen, to the Hebei Provincial Deputy Party Secretary. Further details at this time are unclear. However, the previous successes of Shenzhen, transformed from a small fishing village, and Pudong, redeveloped from marshland, augur well, especially as the Xiongan New District is a project directly instigated by the Chinese President.

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What can be expected are new highways and high speed rail links to the new Daxing airport, which is currently under construction to the south of Beijing. Additionally, the Qinhuangdao Port facility will be further developed, and will likely mirror Shenzhen and Pudong by including tax incentives for import-export and to attract specific industry sectors, as well as by establishing free trade zones and bonded facilities.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis
is the Founding Partner of Dezan Shira & Associates – a specialist foreign direct investment practice providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam, in addition to alliances in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, as well as liaison offices in Italy, Germany and the United States. For further information, please email or visit

Chris can be followed on Twitter at @CDE_Asia.

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