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For ninth year in row, China leads world in skyscraper push

China completed 84 of the 128 buildings that are 200 metres or higher built in 2016. The US was China’s closest competitor — it completed seven buildings in the category. 

world Updated: Jan 15, 2017 01:13 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China building,skyscraper,China tall
The tallest building to be completed last year was in China – the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre — which stands at 530 metres. (CTBUH DATABASE)

China seems to be so far above its competitors in constructing buildings that are 200 metres or higher, it can barely see those below.

The Communist country built 84 of the 128 buildings in that height range in 2016, leading Asia’s charge to build the largest number of tall buildings, the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said in its annual report.

India does not figure in the list, which includes South Korea, Indonesia and Philippines. Of the completed 128 buildings, 107 were in Asia.

The US was China’s closest competitor — it completed seven buildings in the category.

“This brings the total number of 200-metre-plus buildings in the world to 1,168, marking a 441% increase from the year 2000, when only 265 existed,” the CTBUH, considered an authority in tracking tall buildings, reported.

The tallest building to be completed last year was in China – the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, it said calling it “the tallest building in Guangzhou, the second tallest building in China, and the fifth tallest building in the world at 530 metres”.

China’s dominance was spearheaded by the trading hub and metropolis of Shenzhen in the south.

“Shenzhen had the highest number of 200-metre-plus completions of any city in 2016 with 11 (more than any country other than China managed to complete), while China’s Chongqing and Guangzhou, and Goyang in South Korea tied for second place with six each,” the report said.

The total height of buildings completed in Shenzhen was a dizzying 2,608 metres.

To be fair, China topping the list in 2016 wasn’t exactly a shock – this was the ninth year in a row that CTBUH announced it was the leader.

“Thirty-one cities in China had at least one 200-meter-plus building completion, with Shenzhen outperforming any other city in the world, with 11. Trailing behind Shenzhen are Chongqing and Guangzhou, each with six completions; followed by Chengdu and Dalian with five apiece,” the CTBUH report added.

Analysts at CTBUH said it was “impossible” to separate urbanisation in China from the boom in skyscraper construction globally. And, though its economy might be cooling, the construction sector is still hot.

“Additionally, over the past several years, there has been a major uptick in the amount of real estate investment coming out of China, rather than remaining within it,” it said.

“This, in combination with a still-cooling national economy, has caused some to assume that the nation’s era of unprecedented construction is on the decline. While that may be the case in the long run, short-term prospects remain high, with 328 buildings in the 200-plus-metre range currently under construction in the country.”

Not surprisingly, the tallest building set to be completed in 2017 is the Ping An Finance Centre. At 599 metres, it will be the tallest in Shenzhen, the second tallest in China, and the fourth tallest in the world.



Guangzhou, China

530 meters (1,739 ft)


Dalian, China

383 meters (1,257 ft)


Moscow, Russia

374 meters (1,226 ft)


TIanjin, China

338 meters (1,109 ft)


Guangzhou, China

319 meters (1,046 ft)

First Published: Jan 14, 2017 23:05 IST