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China's Big-City Homeowners in Austerity Mode Are Weighing on Retail

  • Big mortgages, big down payments zap spending in big cities
  • Beijing service sector corporate profits tumbled 11% in 2016
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Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
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Last December, Li Qinglei and his wife purchased a 114-square-meter home in western Beijing by taking out a 5.5 million yuan ($800,000) home loan and borrowing more than 1 million yuan from family and friends. 

Then, they shifted into full-on austerity mode.