Wangjing, a sub-district within Chaoyang District in the northeast of Beijing, is emerging fast as a new hotbed of technology start-ups.
Currently as many as 100 new IT start-up firms set up shop in the area including Meituan, a group-discount website, and Ele.me, China's largest food-delivery start-up. As the nation's IT focus is shifting rapidly toward mobile away from hardware, analysts said, Wangjing is overtaking Zhongguancun in Beijing's Haidian District as the cener of entrepreneurial fervor.
Located about 10 kilometers northeast of Tiananmen Square, Wangjing was originally developed in the 1990s as a residential town for expatriates working in the city. The area has since become a de facto Koreatown as Korean companies like Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor moved into the country and their employees settled in the district.
Since Wangjing SOHO, a three-building complex, was completed early last year, Wangjing has changed from a bedroom community to a commercial quarter. The complex, whose total floor space is 390,000 square meters, initially charged only 4 yuan (US$0.63) per square meter for a day's rent. According to a real estate agent near the building complex said, "As so many start-ups moved into the area, the rental price skyrocketed to 13 yuan ($2.05), more than triple within the 18-month period." For example, Ele.me is a tenant on the fifth floor of the T3 building while Meituan leases 22nd and 23rd floors of the same building.
Korean companies hitherto scattered around in Beijing are also moving toward Wangjing. The Chinese unit of POSCO already moved to a 33-story building near Wangjing SOHO while the Chinese headquarters of Woori Bank set up shop within the POSCO building last month. In addition, the Chinese main offices of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, Korea Trade Insurance Corp., and Korea EximBank all moved to the area. A POSCO China official said, "Already, Beijing CBD [the Beijing Central Business District] has been saturated with corporate tenants with rental prices excessively high, making Wangjing a second CBD."