What is a ghost town in china

Eerie satellite images show the ghost towns in China

China still has an alarming number of vacant properties, as an analysis by satellite provider DigitalGlobe in collaboration with Business Insider shows.

Chinese ghost towns have been making headlines for almost a decade. Real estate projects lie idle for years. Some people interpret the vacant buildings as a sign of an impending real estate crisis. Others think that this type of urban expansion is typical of a state-controlled economy.

Although some of the ghost towns are reportedly slowly filling up with people again, the problem still persists. A study by search engine giant Baidu found clear evidence of high vacancy rates. And this fall, China's richest man Wang Jianlin called the Chinese real estate market the "largest bubble in history."

We took a closer look at some of the ghost towns using satellite imagery, including time series images, to show where progress is and where is not.

Eerie satellite imagery shows China's ghost towns - and why they became such

Eerie satellite imagery shows China's ghost towns - and why they became such

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  • Chenggong was officially named a ghost town in 2012. According to reports, 100,000 apartments were vacant at the time. Five years later, the city still looks pretty empty - but skyscrapers are still being built there.

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  • Chenggong has big plans, as can be seen from the extensive road network. But the streets are as good as empty and many of the blocks are still cultivated.

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  • If we look at the mostly empty skyscrapers of Chenggong, we see that the asphalt roads on the left become gravel roads.

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  • Chenggong, like many other ambitious projects in China, has a dramatic architecture - in this case surrounded by farmland.

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  • There are several large college campuses in Chenggong. This is mostly empty and the construction is not quite finished, as DigitalGlobe reports.

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  • Eren Hot is a well-known ghost town in Inner Mongolia. Look at this difference: Here you see a huge empty field in 2013 ...

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    DigitalGlobe

  • ... and here in 2015 streets full of mass-produced houses.

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  • ... and in 2017 the streets are still empty.

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  • Ordos, another well-known ghost town in Inner Mongolia, is reported to have a growing population. Nevertheless, many buildings are still empty and many have not been finished. This beautiful stadium, for example, has been in the works for a long time, according to DigitalGlobe.

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  • Another large building in Ordos is in a semi-finished state, is not finished and is not in use, according to DigitalGlobe.

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  • Dongsheng (referred to by Baidu as a city only part of which is a ghost town) has many large-scale projects like this one that are lying idle.

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  • This building in Dongsheng is finished, but there seem to be very few residents there.

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  • Ghost town or future city? The gigantic development on Meixi Lake looks ghostly, with dozens of skyscrapers - but almost no residents. And yet the prices are rising, as DigitalGlobe reports. The development is still progressing rapidly.

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  • Zhengdong was once called a ghost town. Things are going pretty well for the city now. Even so, dozens of new high-rise buildings are still being built.

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  • Another satellite image from Zhengdong. Will more people move to the city? That will show up in the near future.

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