CHINA: TWO MODERNIZATIONS (DECENTRALIZATION AND LIVING AWAY FROM THE JOB)

Excerpts…

In the time of Mao Zedong, China had achieved perhaps the ultimate in the jobs-housing balance. Companies provided housing for their workers, who were able to walk to their jobs in the same compound. However, the economic reforms instituted by Deng Xiaoping and his successors has led to an abandonment of this model (Danwei housing) and millions of Chinese households have been lifted out of poverty into affluence. Most Chinese households do not aspire to "living on top" of the factory or office.

Foxconn itself is the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronic technology, producing Apple’s I-Pod and I-Phone and making products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, as well as the Nintendo, Wii entertainment systems.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal,Foxconn has plans to abandon its Danwei housing and move away from its "perfect" jobs-housing balance to the spatial arrangements that Chinese, Americans and Europeans routinely choose — to work where they like and live where they like.

Foxconn plans to increase its workforce in China from 920,000 to 1,300,000 and intends for many of its employees to be in new facilities in places like Chengdu (capital of Sichuan), Wuhan(capital of Hubei), Zhengzhou (capital of Henan) and Chongqing (capital of the provincial level Chongqing municipality). Foxconn’s decentralization, and the location of other new and expanded businesses in the center and west is strongly supported by China’s substantial infrastructure investment. The nation already has more than 40,000 miles of interstate equivalent highways. When all of the gaps are completed, trucks will be able to reach east coast ports from Zhengzhou or Wuhan in about days drive and little more than two days from Chongqing and Chengdu.

More at… http://www.newgeography.com/content/001764-china-two-modernizations-decentralization-and-living-away-job

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