CHINA / Regional

Netizen calls to boycott Shenzhen properties
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-29 09:18

A netizen has called out to the people of Shenzhen to boycott the rocketing housing prices by closing up their wallets, South Metropolitan Daily reported today.

Zou Tao, who often writes his opinions on the Internet, published an open letter for the boycott yesterday morning, which attracted 156 supporting replies within several hours.

Zou has asked people in Shenzhen to suspend any property purchases for three years. "So we don't become 'house slaves,' and so we don't have to carry the burden of heavy debts throughout our lives" Zou said.

The average housing price per square meter in Shenzhen reached 8,752.94 yuan (US$1,094) in the first quarter of the year, up 20.62 percent from a year ago.

Zou suggested that people rent houses instead because their prices have remained at a relatively stable level.

His letter also invokes the government's help to launch macro-control policies to curb the housing price surge. But, he also questions the effect the policies would have, he said during his interview with the newspaper.

With his fierce statements, Zou's letter was widely viewed and linked from one Website to another. It was applauded by most of its readers.

However, some people interviewed by the newspaper showed varying opinions. "I think the boycott is childish," said an interviewee identified as Liu. The government is the key factor in controlling the housing prices, he added.

Zou said that he wrote the letter to arouse people's interest on the issue, which may assist in bringing a more stable and rational housing market.