Capital and residents flee Ordos

China's ghost city is approaching its nadir as residents return to their home cities and take what's left of their capital along with them. Although some residents have built up sustainable businesses (albeit with income far below peak years), many are pulling up stakes as capital drains from the city.

鄂尔多斯曲终人散 放贷者血本无归外地人大撤离 (The end of Ordos; lenders lost their life savings, residents flee)

Out of a population of 400,000 in the prosperous Dongsheng region of Ordos, about 300,000 were from other parts of China. These people came to Ordos to earn money, but there's no money to be earned now, so they're leaving. At the peak, the lowest wage rate was about 3000 yuan per month, exceeding that of Beijing. Now, people work part-time or low wage jobs are lucky to earn 1600 yuan per month. Small restaurants have seen business tumble more than 70% since October. Taxi drivers are heading home, hotel rates and occupancy are down more than 50%. Only three short years ago, the hotels were fully occupied most of the time.

There's still some optimists hanging in. One man lent his friend 700,000 yuan and stopped receiving interest payments early on, but he's waiting it out and believes the local coal resources will eventually support the region.

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