What Happened: The Chinese government plans to classify Shenzhen as a special economic zone and implement wide-ranging reforms in an effort to boost the city's growth in innovation, public service and environmental protection, among other areas, the South China Morning Post reported Aug. 18.
Why It Matters: Shenzhen's shifting status could put it at the forefront of implementing financial and economic initiatives as part of China's market liberalization policies, which could provide a boost to global technology companies in the city.
Background: Ongoing protests in Hong Kong have raised speculation whether the Chinese government might be looking to downgrade the city's role in its development plan for the greater Macau-Hong Kong-Shenzhen area in favor of Shenzhen.
- Will Beijing Intervene in the Hong Kong Unrest? (Aug. 13, 2019)
- In Hong Kong, Demonstrators and Officials Are on a Collision Course (July 22, 2019)
- A Predictable Predicament for Hong Kong (March 24, 2017)