Xiamen poser: Are special economic zones in China no longer special?


When my friends in Xiamen heard that I was going there to do an interview in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Xiamen special economic zone (SEZ), they immediately deadpanned: “Compared with Shenzhen, we look like a fake SEZ.”

Out of curiosity, I asked what they meant. They said that in Xiamen, there are few special dividends to be gained, no policy advantages, and the economy lacks strong industries.