Posted by: erichosemann | December 27, 2009

The World’s Largest Mega Mall, Empty

A ten minute video about a massive mis-allocation of resources in Guangzhou, China.

I think the Utopia story kind of missed the point.  Can mobilization of that kind of capital be accomplished by one man?  I don’t think so…the consultant with flagging optimism attributes the mall’s existence to a “local boy who made good,” but is that really the case here?  I’m sure the Chinese government had as big a hand in the construction of the mall as it did in the purchase of the mall after the local boy made bad.

When I see that kind of over-production–China went from having no malls to having the world’s largest in the blink of an eye–I’m reminded of what a friend from the former Soviet Union told me to correct my notion that a life in the USSR was one of scarcity: Most certainly not, he said.  We had lots of everything.  Lots of clothes, shoes, plumbing fixtures, you name it.  The problem was no one wanted to buy what we had a lot of.

The planners of Ordos and the mega-mall mis-matched consumption and production as badly as the Soviet planners did.

The mega-mall is by no means the first patch of highly-developed, empty real estate in China.  Check out the spooky, modern ghost city of Ordos here.

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