Paris in China 2




local rough (2) tumble (2)
claim lay claim go to great lengths
tower dubbed Eiffel Tower
way (2) residential complex (2)
fill up potential megalopolis
pursue similarity construction
a third smoothly in this way
media Versailles square meter
rent property investment
ghost condemn ghost town
taker promote gamble (2)
reject resident pessimism
per miss (3) temporary
urban colossal roughly (2)
notably view (2) overcapacity
desert space (3) entrepreneur
refuse fountain return on investment
mature one-third






In the rough and tumble world of selling property, developers have always been ready to go to great lengths.

But not many can lay claim to building a second Paris, as a group of Chinese business men have done, only their Eiffel Tower, a third the height of the real one, stands some six-thousand kilometers from the French capital.

The residential complex dubbed Tianducheng, roughly translated as Sky Capital, is two-hundred kilometers southwest of the megalopolis of Shanghai and near the tourist city of Hangzhou.

Problem is this project is missing people.

Construction began around seven years ago, and it’s almost complete.

Now the property company needs to prove its business plan is workable.

Chen Zhengwei, Zhejiang Tiandu Industrial Company

One of Tianducheng’s top managers says Hangzhou is a tourist city and I think in this way, it is similar to France: French people really pursue romance and relaxation, and they also like to travel.

And I think Hangzhou has similarities. In this way, importing it has worked smoothly, it is very normal.”

A three-hundred square meter apartment with a view of Versailles Fountains is marketed for rent at five-hundred euros per month.

Ten-thousand people could live in Tianducheng, but local media have already condemned this as a new Chinese ghost town.

The promoters refuse to say how many units remain without takers; this resident of three years rejects any pessimism.

Zeng Zeng, Tianducheng Resident: “I think it’s just that its popular property value hasn’t reached that of mature residential communities. I think Tianducheng will fill up later, and it has a great development potential despite those who say it’s a ghost city.”

China has a handful of these colossal urban building ventures which have failed to fill up, notably Ordos in the Mongolian desert. Prices there have gone down one-third in the space of a year.

Yet in a country where the entrepreneur takes a long view on returns on investment, they seem to gamble that the overcapacity will only be temporary.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. Artists and the local and regional government were behind the creation of Tianducheng, the “Sky City” or “Paris in China”. True or false?

2. Tianducheng is an exact replica or duplicate of Paris. Is this correct or incorrect?

3. What was the purpose building Tianducheng? Has it been successful so far?

4. It rent cheap, medium-priced or expensive?

5. What does the Chinese media say?

6. Do all residents agree with the skeptics and critics?

7. Is Tianducheng unique in China?

8. The investors are optimistic. Is this right or wrong?


A. What are some cultural, historical and touristic cities in your country?

B. Should old, historical buildings be replaced by new, modern buildings or should they be preserved?

C. More historical, ancient and medieval-style architecture and cities should be built. There should be more ancient, medieval and classical theme parks should be built. Do you agree?

D. My friends and I would like to live in cities similar to Tianducheng (Paris, London, Rome). Yes or no?

E. What will happen in the future?


Comments are closed.