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Office Vacancies in China’s Cities Soar Even as Economy Reopens

  • Prime vacancy rates rose to 20% in second quarter in Shanghai
  • In Shenzhen, almost one-third of offices may be empty by 2022
Office Workers in Shanghai as Premier Says Most of China Is Returning to Normal
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Office vacancies in China’s biggest cities are at the highest in more than a decade even as the nation’s economy has largely swung back into action after the coronavirus outbreak.

Vacancy rates for prime office buildings in Shanghai climbed to 20% in the second quarter and 21% in the tech hub of Shenzhen, both the highest since at least the financial crisis in 2008, CBRE Group Inc. data show. Beijing’s 15.5% rate was the most since 2009.