Aerial view of houses and buildings in Rongcheng county, one part of the new special economic zone Xiong'an New Area. Photo: AFP

Last Saturday, Beijing announced plans for a new development area to be modelled after the Shenzhen Special Economic zone. By Sunday, average housing prices for the region had almost doubled. Chinese media reports local hotels were full and residents complained of traffic jams leading to the area.

To stem the rush of those looking to get in on the ground floor of the project, the government responded by banning property sales in the area. Provincial party head Zhao Kezhi warned that the local government would implement “the most stringent control” of real estate sales, and said that illegal activity would be punished swiftly.

It seems he has followed through on that promise, with the reports that seven people have already been arrested for real estate related violations.

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