It's been 10 days since I left for China, and since I've been over here, Chinese tech stocks have taken a nasty fall.
Several folks from back in the U.S. who have been following my trip updates on Twitter have asked me what differences I have noticed since my last trip to China in November 2010 and whether China's growth story is still intact.
Here are five things I've noticed about China right now.
1. China's growth story is still going strong, but it's definitely slowed a little.
I got a lot of questions on this, since back in the States, we hear the news headlines about PMI and GDP growth in China cooling things down. People want to know if this is accurate or not. I went around to all the big cities on this trip (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen). I met with about a dozen companies. I can only give my anecdotal impressions, but I would say that growth is still phenomenal relative to the U.S.
The number of cranes erecting buildings everywhere is still hard to fathom. How quickly new buildings have gone up since my last trip is also amazing to see.
That said, though, relative to six months ago, the pace of growth seems to have slowed a touch. So, the actions that the government has taken have definitely had an effect.
2. Chinese property developers have been pinched by the government's tightening measures and prices are flat, so the actions are working.
People always want to know about whether there's a housing bubble in China and if it's about to burst. I don't think that's going to happen in the near term. The steps that the government took to cool down the property market have worked. You hear of some property developers now being caught in a situation where they got themselves involved in quite a number of large projects and now these measures are pinching them. Prices are stable at the moment in many cities -- not down but not up.
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