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Beijing: Global Contender Eyes on the Next Five Years

​Education, Talent, Innovation and Infrastructure will provide the foundation for success

Beijing, 24 April 2018 – The recently released China12: China's Cities Go Global is the latest report by JLL (NYSE:JLL) in the China Cities series. The study bases its assessment on a combination of "traditional" city metrics such as size, growth, wealth and connectivity as well as "future-proofing" metrics, such as talent, innovation, livability, environment, infrastructure, regional clustering and real estate transparency. In doing so, it charts the remarkable journey of city-building and development in China's key cities.

"As the capital, it is unsurprising that Beijing dominates in both "traditional" and "future-proofing" metrics." Julien Zhang, Managing Director of JLL North China goes on to point out that, "Among the China 12, Beijing outperforms other cities in education, innovation, "next generation" corporations and infrastructure. It will also join the world's most influential "Big Seven" cities within the next five years and become a leading global force, a city with an innovation economy where talent from all over the world lives together harmoniously."

Beijing's technology and innovation to lead high-end economic growth

In Beijing's Urban Planning for 2016 to 2035, released last September, "becoming a center of technology and innovation" was clearly listed as one of the future development strategies for Beijing. With its birth and growth throughout the 80s and 90s, known as "Electronics Street", Zhongguancun Science Park has developed over the years into a leading force in innovation not just within Beijing but in China as a whole. Especially in recent years, under the trend of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, "next generation" corporations such as Xiaomi, Didi Chuxing, Meituan-Dianping, and Mobike have all been established in Beijing. According to statistics, among all the Chinese "unicorns" (start-ups valued at US$1 billion or more), 54 have their headquarters in Beijing, with an estimated total value of around 1.4 trillion RMB. This is the highest for any city in China and makes up almost half of the national total in terms of both number and total value.

"The strong resources of the city's production, education and research platforms, entrepreneurs who embraces the spirit of the new era, and the great development of innovative ecosystems, are the keys to Beijing's success in becoming the city of unicorns." As Joe Zhou, JLL Head of China Research points out, "An outstanding atmosphere for innovation will help core functional districts such as Zhongguancun Science Park, Huairou Science Park, Future Science & Technology Park, and the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area, to drive the construction of a global city of innovation in the future. Beijing will become a global leader in technology and innovation as well as a driving force for high-end economic growth."

New household registration policy to strengthen education and talent attraction

With the highest number of academic institutions in China, Beijing's advantages in education have made it a magnet for migrants, especially those with talent. However, from the second half of 2017, many key second-tier cities in China have issued household registration, housing, and financial subsidies as part of a raft of beneficial policies specifically targeted at attracting more talent. At the end of last year, Beijing's population experienced negative growth for the first time in 17 years. How can Beijing continue to maintain its advantages in terms of human capital in this new era of urban competition?

Recently, Beijing introduced the Measures for Management of Imported Talent (Trial), as well as the Operation and Management Manual for Point Based Household Registry System, which have been hailed as "the loosest household registration policies introduced in the last 10 years" and have attracted wide media attention. "Traffic congestion and resource constraints caused by overpopulation makes it necessary to distribute population. However, a more important goal for the policy-makers is to speed up industrial transformation and optimize the population structure" said Fei Wang, Head of Strategic Consulting for JLL Beijing. "The new household registration policies are the Beijing government's specific measures targeted at attracting talent in the areas of scientific and technological innovation, cultural creativity, and angel investment under the 'four centers' strategy. In addition, under the general guidance of the 'Urban Plan', Beijing needs to keep its population below 23 million by 2020, meaning only exceptional talent will have the opportunity to settle in Beijing."

Infrastructure development helps accelerate Beijing's globalization

Beijing is at the center of China's railway and road networks, while the annual passenger throughput of Beijing Capital International Airport continuously ranks second in the world. Well-established infrastructure is a powerful impetus for the development of Beijing into a city with international influence, but it has also led to a serious disparity compared with surrounding areas. The coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area has now been a part of the national strategy for four years. After establishing the Xiong'an New Area a year ago, the government has made its first breakthrough in traffic integration, and the "Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei high-speed road and rail links" will gradually be revealed to the world.

"The Beijing-Tangshan and Beijing-Xiong'an intercity railways, as well as Beijing-Xiong'an and Beijing-Zhangjiakou high speed rail lines will be completed in the next few years. Together with the Beijing-Tianjin intercity line, they will create a half-hour commuting zone around Beijing, which will further strengthen the flow of people and resources between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei." As Managing Director of JLL North China, Julien Zhang finally points out, "In addition, Beijing's new airport will enter use next year, the transportation infrastructure will further enhance the quality and level of development in this region, and become a powerful support for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei's globalization and opening up as a big city cluster."

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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2017, JLL had revenue of $7.9 billion and fee revenue of $6.7 billion; managed 4.6 billion square feet, or 423 million square meters; and completed investment sales, acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $170 billion. At the end of 2017, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 82,000.  As of December 31, 2017, LaSalle had $58.1 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

JJLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with over 37,000 employees operating in 96 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won the ‘World’s Best’ and ‘Best in Asia Pacific’ International Property Consultancy at the International Property Awards in 2016 and was named number one real estate investment advisory firm in Asia Pacific for the sixth consecutive year by Real Capital Analytics.  

In Greater China, the firm was named ‘Best Property Consultancy in China’ at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific 2016, and has more than 2,200 professionals and 14,000 on-site staff providing quality real estate advice and services in over 80 cities across the country​.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​