Serious business

Chenggong: Kunming’s buzzy business hub

Kunming's low-carbon, tech savvy hub is drawing the attention of China's big firms. Words by JUSTIN HEIFETZ, illustration by REMKO HEEMSKERK

Only four years ago, the just-built Chenggong business district in Kunming had the dubious reputation of being a shiny, new ghost town. Today the town in the capital of China’s southwestern Yunnan province is beginning to thrive.

Chenggong is a mixed-use hub for large businesses, residences and government administration. It is about 12 kilometres from Kunming proper, situated on the banks of scenic Dian Lake. As the province’s first low-carbon district, it incorporates car-free streets, green belts and open parks, making the area very friendly to pedestrians. It is connected to Kunming’s city centre by subway.

Chenggong’s industrial park is now home to mostly technology and IT companies. They include Microsoft China, ZTE, Datang Telecom and cloud computing group Inspur. Companies in other industries, like China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation, are also located here.

The district is capable of accommodating a population of some 1.5 million but is now home to only a few hundred thousand. The government has built new university campuses in the district to attract more residents, and it is also becoming a more attractive option for living and working as Kunming’s downtown starts to get overcrowded.

Dounan Flower Market
credit: Yangzheng / Imaginechina

Dounan Flower Market

This wholesale centre is China’s largest flower market, exporting as much as HK$3 million worth of blooms a day.

Howard Johnson South Asia Plaza

Howard Johnson South Asia Plaza

This is an ideal option for business travellers visiting Chenggong. While the district is developing, there are few international hotel chains available.

Kunming Hall
credit: VCG

Kunming Hall

This venue hosts arts performances, governmental meetings and trade conventions.

Kunming South Railway Station
credit: Hu yan / Imaginechina

Kunming South Railway Station

This major station in Chenggong connects Kunming by high-speed rail to Shanghai. Major stops along the way include provincial capitals Guiyang, Changsha, Nanchang and Hangzhou.

Cathay Dragon flies to Kunming from Hong Kong seven times a week

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