Caixin
BUSINESS & TECH

Is Rapid Growth of Subway Systems in China Losing Steam?

By Sun Lichao and Pan Che
The cancellation of Baotou's subway system (pictured is one of the project's construction sites) has given a signal to city governments around the country that the 'wind has changed' on such projects, an unnamed provincial economic planning official told Caixin. Photo: Sun Lichao/Caixin
The cancellation of Baotou's subway system (pictured is one of the project's construction sites) has given a signal to city governments around the country that the 'wind has changed' on such projects, an unnamed provincial economic planning official told Caixin. Photo: Sun Lichao/Caixin

Construction of the subway system in Baotou, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, had been taking place for only two months when the central government called off the project due to the drain it placed on city coffers.

While new city-rail projects are common in China, Baotou’s unusual move may be a sign of greater central government scrutiny of such projects, officials say. Indeed, one city has expressed doubt that its own project will be approved, and another was told by the provincial authorities to hold off for now.

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