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As people work from home, China struggles to fill up skyscrapers

Pandemic shift leaves vast amounts of corporate digs empty

Office towers in Shenzhen. A building boom over the last decade has produced a glut of space. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU -- Filling China's office towers has become a tall order.

The vacancy rate for premium office space in tech hub Shenzhen reached 26.4% in the April-June quarter, up 7.5 percentage points from the same period in 2019, according to real estate services group Savills. Current vacancy rates in Beijing and Shanghai, while not as bad as in Shenzhen, are 3 to 9 points higher than two years earlier.

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