Business / Economy

Dongguan 'not famed primarily for prostitution'

By Qiu Quanlin (China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-15 09:15
Citizens point to production and export achievements; experts say crackdown shows need for restructuring, Qiu Quanlin reports in Guangzhou

When a recent sex trade crackdown brought Dongguan under the spotlight, Internet users launched an online campaign featuring its glories.

Dongguan 'not famed primarily for prostitution'

Aftermath of Dongguan sex raid 

Dongguan 'not famed primarily for prostitution'

Dongguan 'remains processing trade hub' 

On micro blogs and online forums, people have uploaded and forwarded photos of the Chinese city, representing it as "The Factory of the World" in the booming southern province of Guangdong, revealing its history as it developed from a fishing village to a manufacturing and logistics behemoth.

"The Dongguan You May Not Know" called for local residents to be proud of their city and to tell the world about it.

"We produce one-fifth of the world's digital products; we destroyed the country's opium here; we topped the Chinese Basketball Association league eight times; we attracted 10 million migrants..." said captions of the photos uploaded when the city was mocked as China's "sex capital" after prostitution busts and huge media exposure on Sunday.

But experts warned the crackdown on prostitution shows an urgent need for the local government to accelerate its economic restructuring.

"The effort should not only target its traditional manufacturing but also the services industry," said Lin Jiang, head of the public finance and taxation department of Lingnan College at Sun Yat-sen University.

Dongguan, about 140 kilometers from Hong Kong, has faced a difficult task reorganizing its industrial structure since the eruption of the 2008 global financial crisis, according to Lin.

Dongguan's economy grew by 9.8 percent year-on-year to 550 billion yuan ($90.7 billion) in 2013. However, the city had the lowest economic growth rate for four years before last year because of industrial restructuring, compared with other cities in Guangdong province.

"The higher economic growth rate in Dongguan last year was mostly driven by investment in a large number of projects. The manufacturing sector was still on what has been a harsh road of recovery," Lin said.

Dongguan 'not famed primarily for prostitution'

Dongguan 'not famed primarily for prostitution'

Life during the fishing off-season in Dongguan 

Innovation is the name of the game 

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