September 9 this year will mark the 30th anniversary of
China’s late chairman Mao’s death.
Ever since he passed away, the transformation towards a
market economy has made China almost unrecognisable. Yet
some things remain the same: Mao’s portrait still looms over
Tiananmen Square, and he is still revered by hundreds millions
of Chinese as the icon of the modern China and the hero of
the independent nation.
In fact, he has become increasingly more popular in recent
years. The Chinese edition of the biography Mao Zedong, written
by Ross Terrill, has sold 110,000 copies since January. There
are total 10,000 Mao-related titles on the market and all
But no where his popularity is more evident than on the
Chinese Internet, which is ruled by his biggest fans, the
young generation of Chinese born between late 70s and early
80s. There are countless blogs and websites devoted to him.
Among them, a site called Mao Zedong Thought has so far received
100 million hits since it was set up by the end of 2000,
that is about 50,000 hits a day.
As he is so popular among China’s young, looks he will remain
popular for a long time.
Late Chairman Mao Zedong, from the left to
in his 20s - in his 40s - in his 60s
Beijing’s Courtyard Residence for
Beijing is going to sell 20 traditional courtyard residences
in September, and the public auction will open to everyone,
Chinese and foreign nationals.
There are only about 500 siheyuans in Beijing right now,
mainly in the east and west parts of the city. The biggest
property covers an area of 600 sqm with a price tag stands
at several ten million yuans.
There are three factors that determine the price: the location,
the history and the condition of the building.
In terms of the location, generally speaking, the properties
in the east and west part of the city are more expensive
(20,000 yuan per sqm in average) than that of in south, for
instance Congwen and Xuanwu districts (8,000 to 15,000 yuan
When the history is concerned, the older the siheyuan the
higher the price. If a house is associated with a historical
figure or contemporary VIP, it will be viewed as more valuable.
As for the building condition itself, the most crucial part
lies in its orientation -
sitting in the north and facing the south is forever more
desirable. The other important factors to take into considerations
include the immediate environment, the infrastructure services
and the renovation potential.
In recently years, the price of the siheyuan grew at a 10
to 20 percent annual pace. With the limited number of the
original siheyuans left, the price can only go up further.
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