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Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on September 27, 2020

September 29, 2020

“Quality Development, Quality Life” Series Municipal Government Press Conference-Hongkou District

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held the 15th “Quality Development, Quality Life” Series Media Briefing today (September 27), during which Wu Xinbao, Secretary of the CPC Hongkou District Committee, introduced the economic and social development of Hongkou District in recent years. Hu Guangjie, Deputy Secretary and district chief, Liu Jun, executive deputy director of the North Bund Development Office and general manager of the North Bund Group, and Geng Yu, Director of the Civil Affairs Bureau of Hongkou District, attended the press conference and jointly answered questions from reporters.

Hongkou District is located at the intersection of Huangpu River and Suzhou River. It is an important corner of Shanghai’s “Golden Triangle” and the core area of the city’s central activity zone. In recent years, Hongkou has proactively delivered on the important concept of “people’s city developed by the people and for the people”, comprehensively promoted high-quality development and created high-quality life. The energy level and core competitiveness in urban areas have achieved breakthrough improvements, and the people’s sense of gain, happiness and security has been significantly enhanced.

1. Leverage the power of the entire district and integrate global wisdom to create a new benchmark for urban development in the new era

Since the “Revision of the Regulatory Detailed Planning for the North Bund Neighborhood in Hongkou District (Draft for Public Participation)” was announced on February 20 this year, the popularity and attention that the North Bund has is constantly increasing. Despite the epidemic, 171 projects including Green Light Global, Xiangfu Huixin and TF Securities, have settled down, with a total investment exceeding 100 billion yuan. The development and construction of the North Bund has three main characteristics.

First, highlight the principle of intensiveness and efficiency. The district created a development mechanism model that is led by the government, supported by enterprises, and driven by market-oriented operation. At the municipal level, a working leadership group led by the municipal leaders has been established, and the North Bund Development Office is the main body at the district level to coordinate efforts across the entire district to advance the development and construction of the North Bund to ensure that “the image will be built up in three years, functions will be developed in five years, and the project will be basically completed in 10 years.” The district fully deregulated power, reduced approval procedures, and improved administrative efficiency. The process from the initiation of the project to the start of construction has been cut from 6-9 months to 72 working days, marking the “North Bund speed”.

Second, reflect the requirements of aiming to reach top standards. The district organized an expert committee for the development and construction of the North Bund, and it consisted of 5 well-known domestic experts and 4 well-known foreign experts. It set up the chief expert office and hired top experts to serve as chief planners, chief architects, and chief functional engineers. The district invited seven global top architectural design firms, including Nikken Sekkei, Gensler, and Foster, to participate in the development to ensure that each project met the positioning requirements of the “world-class living room” and construction quality was strictly controlled. At present, around the overall planning of 8.4 million square meters of buildings, special plans for second-floor corridors, central green spaces, underground spaces, industrial functions, and refined management have been formed. More than 20 super high-rise buildings including a new landmark with a height of 480 meters will call for global proposals. According to the plan, the total length of the second-floor corridor in the core area of 0.8 square kilometers is 4 kilometers, and the widest area can reach 20 meters, which can meet the needs of commuting between buildings, the scenic sightseeing of the central green space and other necessary service functions. At the same time, the underground space will exceed 1.4 million square meters to create a 24-hour vibrant district.

Third, adopt a project-based approach. There are 27 key tasks and 28 daily tasks in five categories, covering land transfer, project construction, publicity and promotion, and environmental construction. In terms of land transfer and project construction, more than 10 pieces of land will be launched in the North Bund this year and next, and 10 key projects such as the Shanghai Industrial Center will be completed. In terms of promotion and publicity, the “cloud-based promotion” and “going out” activities are combined, and the district is in negotiations with nearly 200 Chinese and foreign companies, including Hillhouse Capital, Alibaba, JD.com, ByteDance, Huamao Group, and China Pacific. In July of this year, the North Bund Group launched a campaign to recruit senior executives and civil servants from around the world, and received over 3,000 resumes, with hundreds of applicants for each position. In terms of environment construction, the district implemented a program to improve city appearance in a high standard in the North Bund area, by fully optimizing 60 elements in five categories, including space, architecture, environment, municipal facilities, and color, to create a world-class waterfront area. The project is expected to be completed by the end of May 2021.

2. Adhere to the new development concept, and continue to improve the level of economic development

The general public budget revenue in 2019 was 2.4 times that of 2010. GDP grew by 6.7% in 2019, ranking first in the central urban areas. The modern service industry developed steadily, with an average annual tax increase of 10.4% during the 13th Five-Year Plan period. Since the beginning of this year, bucking the impact of the epidemic, the district’s economy has shown a good trend of “rising against the trend.” In the first half of the year, the GDP growth rate continued to rank first in the central urban areas. Tax revenue increased by 1.5% from January to August, ranking first in the city. The five major industries, including finance and shipping, all posted strong performance. The financial industry grew by nearly 40%, and the shipping industry’s monthly tax growth “turned from negative to positive” in June, with an increase of 8.9% in August. General public budget revenue increased by 0.3% from January to August, the first positive increase since February this year, and general public budget revenue is expected to increase by 3.3% from January to September, ranking in the leading pack citywide, among which non-tax revenue accounted for about 10%.

First, the contribution of the financial industry continued to increase. Since 2016, the annual tax revenue of Hongkou’s financial industry has increased by nearly 20% on average each year. From January to August this year, tax revenue increased by 39.6%, showing a “counter-cyclical” performance. There are nearly 1,800 financial enterprises and institutions in the district, including high-quality enterprises such as the second headquarters of SDIC, Huaxing Capital and Invesco. The district is home to the headquarters of 17 public funds, accounting for 1/8 of the total number of public funds in the country. In 2019, the Shanghai Financial Technology Park was launched, and the Shanghai Financial Technology Alliance was unveiled in 2020. The second headquarters of JD Digital, American Express, Wanxiang Blockchain have settled down. The China Chief Economist Forum and the North Bund Wealth and Culture Forum have become industrywide brands.

Second, the shipping industry chain became more established. Relying on 39 functional institutions such as China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association and Shanghai Shipping Exchange, the district has gathered a group of companies in shipping finance, shipping insurance, shipping brokerage, shipping information and consulting. COSCO Shipping’s transportation, energy, terminal, and heavy industry businesses settled down. Twelve of the world’s top 50 shipping companies have established their headquarters in Hongkou. The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index has been released on the North Bund for seven consecutive years, and the North Bund International Shipping Forum has officially held. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the average annual economic contribution of the shipping industry accounted for 30%.

Third, innovation-driven results gradually emerged. The district made every effort to build the first zone with a “dual gigabit” system globally. In 2019, the world’s first 5G phone was put into use in Hongkou, and 810 base stations have been built, with the density ranking first in the city. Through 5G empowerment, the district has been creating a “5G global innovation hub”. It has introduced Huawei-Shanghai “5G+XR Innovation Center”, Shanghai Industrial Internet Association, CAS Shanghai Base and other key projects, and it has gathered nearly 200 companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of 5G, such as Zhijing Technology, Kingcool Media, and XForwardAI. Digital platform companies such as Hupu Sports, Golden Education, Dewu, and Shiheng, have been posted booming growth.

Fourth, market vitality continued to be released During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the total commercial sales increased by an average annual rate of 13.18%, and the total retail sales of consumer goods increased by an average annual rate of 5.01%, both ranking among the leading pack in the city. From January to August this year, the growth rate of total retail sales was ranked second in the city. Tax revenue from modern commerce and trade increased by 6.2%, and total online retail sales increased by 52.8%. Foreign investment and trade have developed steadily. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the annual growth of realized foreign investment was 16.9%. From January to August this year, the realized foreign investment was US$944 million, and the total import and export volume increased by 15.7% year on year, ranking second in the city.

3. Make delicate efforts to constantly improve urban landscape

By keeping the region’s ‘narrow roads, small neighborhoods and suitable livelihoods’ features intact, the district is devoted to good governance in order to make Hongkou a higher-quality, more beautiful and more charming district.

First, make travel more convenient. The district has optimized its road network structure, actively promoting the open-up of Quyang Road and the widening of West Hailun Road. These projects, aiming to enhance North-South connectivity and East-West connectivity in the city, are set to be completed by the end of this year and by the end of 2022, respectively. The district is also advancing the construction of the Hongkou section of the Shanghai North Cross passage, which is expected to open to traffic in 2023. During the 13th Five-Year Plan period, seven roads such as Anfen Road and Hengshui Road connecting different districts have been opened up.

Second, make waterfront more accessible. There are seven well-preserved rivers flowing across Hongkou. The district has done a great job in protecting water, by creating a waterfront pedestrian and cycle zone surrounding the entire region. It has built 40 kilometers of various trails, connecting 2.5 kilometers of riverside promenade. The opening-up and upgrading project of the Suzhou River will be completed by the end of October this year to create the "most beautiful Shanghai Bund and a Riverside Living Room”, so that citizens can walk by the riverside, take a seat, and enjoy a peaceful moment.

Third, make the environment more beautiful. The district has implemented projects like creating beautiful neighborhoods and upgrading landscape lighting, and promoted the beautiful sceneries of spring cherry blossom on Xinjian Road and autumn ginkgo on Siping Road, both of which have become sought-after spots on the internet. The waterfront lighting installation has received a series of honors in the luminary industry, such as China Lighting Award and the Magnolia Lighting Award. The idea of ‘appreciation of flowers during daytime and lighting at night’ has been embedded into people’s daily lives. Hongkou has also established the city’s first social organization on garbage sorting-“New Fashion”, which has become the demonstration zone in Shanghai and ranked top in a citywide evaluation program for consecutively two years.

Fourth, make governance more intelligent. The district has firmly leveraged the ‘two smart nets’ in handling civic affairs. The ‘integrated online service platform’ has promised to accelerate the speed of handling civic affairs by 75 percent compared with the statutory time limit. The district has also piloted ‘automatic processing mechanism with no human intervention’, taking the sixth spot in a government transparency index nationwide 2019 published by the China Academy of Social Sciences. The district has continuously pushed ahead with the construction of ‘administration under one unified portal’, by deepening the administrative model featuring the combination of ‘neighborhood comprehensive law enforcement, Smart City Brain, and the reinvention of administrative procedures’. By creating three task forces each responsible for comprehensive inspection, issue management and supervision, the district has increased the rate of problem detection by 40% and reduced persistent problems in urban management by 23%.

4, Adhere to the ‘people first’ principle and allow people to feel the warmth of the district.

First, improve living conditions markedly. Since 2012, through renovation of old neighborhoods, the district has helped 150,000 people move out of shantytowns. The years of 2016 to 2019 have witnessed 665,000 square meters’ old residential buildings being renovated and 24,300 households moving out of their old habitats, one year ahead of schedule to meet the goals outlined in the 13th Five Year Plan. In 2019, residents of Neighborhood 90 in the North Bund all agreed to relocate on the very first contract-signing day, setting a new record. Since this year, the district has again accelerated the pace of old neighborhood renovation, aiming to break yet another record by relocating 10,000 households, far exceeding the initial target of 6,000 households. Since 2017, the construction of the "beautiful home" project has been carried out in the district based on local conditions. Having completed the renovation of 3.76 million square meters and benefiting 75,200 households, the initiative helps solve people’s problems of cooking, bathroom and bathing difficulties, and aims to achieve the full coverage of 6 million square meters in the next three years, which is three years ahead of the original plan.

Second, constantly optimize service stations ‘at doorsteps’. Based on the needs of the citizens, the district has promoted the construction of 35 citizen stations. The total area of such stations has increased to 76,500 square meters, 46 medical assistance points have been added, and the number of meal assistance points has reached 66, satisfying the dining needs of 31,000 elderly people and covering 11% of the elderly in the district. These arrangements allow residents to enjoy quality community services such as elderly day care, entertainment and leisure, as well as parent-children activities within 15 minutes’ walk. As the inaugural pilot area of home and community pension service reform in China, the district is home to 28 day-care institutions and 10 elderly-care nurseries, taking the lead in achieving full coverage of these facilities across all subdistricts in the city.

Third, develop social undertakings in an orderly fashion. The district has focused on improving education quality by teaming up with Shanghai Foreign Studies University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and East China Normal University to run joint education programs, and has built 18 compact school district groups to achieve full coverage of compulsory education. Since 2017, the "Rainbow Plan" with the theme of caring for students has been implemented, including 23 projects under seven major categories such as Morality Building, Fellowship Grants and International Exchange. These initiatives have assisted nearly 800 students to win national and international awards, helped 1,500 students with difficulties, and enabled more than 700 students to go abroad and broaden their horizons. The district has strengthened the allocation of medical resources, building two regional medical centers in the north and south parts of the district. Shanghai TCM-Integrated Hospital in South Hongkou has been built into a Level III Grade A hospital, whereas the Fourth People’s Hospital located in North Hongkou was newly created in partnership with Tongji University, covering a total area of 140,000 square meters. The district has also optimized the supply of cultural products, continuously enhancing the brand awareness of World Cities Cultural Forum and Lu Xun Cultural Week, and promoting the construction of the Memorial of the Fourth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Haipai Culture Center, the SIIC Broadway Center and the Shanghai Literary Hall, all in a bid to create more influential and accessible cultural landmarks.

Fourth, continue to deepen the innovation of community governance. The district has continuously improved a comprehensive working system of the neighborhood committee. In 2017, the 1.0 version of ‘comprehensive skills’ mechanism was introduced to encourage developing various skills and capabilities among neighborhood committee management personnel. The 2.0 version of ‘comprehensive services’ was introduced in 2018, when a total of 61 contactless service items and 41 zero-distance service items were unveiled. The 3.0 version of ‘comprehensive governance’, introduced in 2019, helped solve 6,500 problems of various types by allocating resources to the community and attending to neighborhood problems. The district has also established the city’s first home elevator installation agency Jiajiale. By end of 2019, the district has mapped out plans for the installation of 115 home elevators and finished 69 such projects such, ranking first in the city.