Diego Maradone, the manager of Argentina's football team, received a stunning marriage proposal from outside a stadium in Chengdu earlier this week. A 25-year-old man wearing a bra delivered the proposal with a sign, which promised that if Maradone could lead his team to victory in the world cup, the man would marry him. Germany, look out—few things are more tenacious than a motivated Maradone.
Pig farmers of Chengdu, the mayor is listening. Ge Honglin, the mayor of Chengdu, announced his plan to construct a "Smart Chengdu" at a summit in Shanghai this week. Apparently, the thing that would make Chengdu smart is the use of Internet of Things technology (in which everyday objects are networked so as to behave semi-intelligently) to construct a pig traceability system. Unsurprisingly, another priority is increasing foreign and domestic investment in the city. If investors and entrepreneurs worked together to make Chengdu smart, he said, the government would continue to provide quality administrative services in exchange. Wait, that sounds kind of like a threat...
In any case, it seems that the investors are giving the mayor what he wants. Infinity Group has just set up a RMB200 million fund to go toward projects in information technology, agriculture, and clean technology in Chengdu. At the same time, the Israeli firm agreed on a finance-oriented deal with the Chengdu government.
In another foreign investment, the largest medical complex in Asia is being constructed in Chengdu with an initial RMB34 billion from Korean investors. As the biggest medical complex in Asia, it is being built to tackle one of Asia's biggest medical problems: plastic surgery. Foreign experts will be brought in to perform operations, and a team of 200 Chinese cosmetic surgeons were recently sent to a Korean plastic surgery conference. Korea has one of the world's most advanced plastic surgery industries. China's industry, meanwhile, is growing at a stunning 20 percent a year.
The Chinese government may be reversing its policy on heavy industry exports, the chief economist and director general of a think tank said at a lead and zinc summit in Chengdu this week. During the recent economic troubles, China increased its incentives for exporting metals to keep the industry profitable. But since then, it has grown out of proportion. The government is considering taxes on exports as a way to reduce the energy used by this increasingly inefficient industry.
The Ladies' Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced a new event as part of its tour through China this summer, the Chengdu Grand Hill Challenge. The event will mark the LPGA's first tour through Western China. It is the fifth event in the tour, and lasts from August 5 to 7.
Lanzhou is coming up in the world. First, the capital of Gansu province is getting a new railway connecting it to Baoji, in Shaanxi. Second—and more importantly—another rail will soon link this lucky city to Chengdu. This 463-kilometer rail will pass through Jiuzhaigou, and will cut the train traveling time between the two capitals from 21 hours to four. Construction is expected to begin by the end of this year.