Last month China Wire re-posted a story from Enterprise Innovation about a study recently done on China’s 2016 cities of opportunity. (You can download the full study at the last link)
Guess what? Hohhot wasn’t on the list.
But here are the cities that were: “(in order from north to south and from east to west): Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang, Dalian, Urumqi, Lanzhou, Xi’an, Tianjin, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Changsha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming and Nanning.” from PwC
I feel like that list of cities is a good sample of different kinds and sizes of cities, it just didn’t happen to include our little slice of paradise. (insert the emoticon of your choice here)
And guess what else? No one asked my opinion. But, that’s one reason I have this blog. So, using some of the categories the article mentioned I’m going to rate Hohhot on the same factors. I have no idea how they measured, but I’m going to use a scale of one to ten. One being the lowest and ten being the highest. Here we go.
intellectual capital and innovation: 3
This one I don’t have enough experience to really evaluate well, but I wouldn’t say Hohhot is known for pioneering ideas, great inventions, or cutting edge innovation.
Although I think 20 years ago or something Nei Da was involved with cloning a sheep (details hazy)
important regional cities: 8
It’s definitely the educational and cultural center of Inner Mongolia, but there is arguably more enterprise in Baotou or other nearby cities (Taiyuan, Zhangjiakou, Yinchuan, Ordos, etc)
technology readiness: 4
This is another category I have no real knowledge in, but I feel like even apps and such are slower to take off here or are being used in other cities but not here.
healthcare, safety and security 3,8, 4 for an average of 5
I won’t give healthcare more than a 3 until there is the ability to wash one’s hands in the bathrooms of our hospitals. Assuming you stay away from dodgy places (and people) Hohhot is safe, but I rated security lower because of theft and the complacency of those in protection roles (security guards, airport/train station baggage scanners, police, etc)
transportation and urban planning 5
The traffic situation deserves a -3 or something, but other transportation factors are improving. (number of flights, diversity of locations of flights, more rail, faster rails, plans for a subway, etc). And if you haven’t been to the City Planning Exhibition Hall, check it out and see what Hohhot has planned.
sustainability and the natural environment 6
This number drops substantially if you go outside the city, but the city itself is above average when compared to other cities its size with pollution, right? Our air is better than most. There’s not much “natural” in the city, but when comparing to other similar Chinese cities, I’d say we’re just above middle ground.
culture and lifestyle 7
I think most reports say that Hohhotians have more expendable income than other cities which gives them points in the lifestyle category. (What? you actually want me to site things? If I find a link I’ll add it here later). Although “culture” in the sense of ballet, fine art, and theatre may be lacking there is plenty of culture in the minority arts genre.
economic clout 3
Anything that pairs Hohhot with the word “clout” gets a low rating. For some reason it still has the persona of being “backwards” or underdeveloped. Ordos is making a name for itself in the economic clout category, but I’m trying to keep these ratings focused on Hohhot.
ease of doing business 2,6
2 for the “ease” (I mean hassle) of starting and 6 to continue doing business. Having spent 8 months of the last year in the business registration process, Hohhot should just be happy I didn’t rate that one in the negative, too. Once you get up and going it gets easier, but they don’t make it easy to start.
I mentioned this point above, but lower housing prices and decent salaries mean a pretty nice standard of living for the growing middle class. Lower commercial rental rates make business costs lower and I’m assuming taxes are comparable to other similar cities.
The gives us an overall rating of 4.9.
So this is my blog and therefore my ratings. Leave your ratings in the comments. 🙂