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China land revenue plunges 38% in blow to local finances

Property developers defer new projects as zero-COVID policy takes toll

A condominium complex under construction in the city of Zhoukou. Housing demand has suffered in China, especially in regional cities. (Photo by Noriyuki Doi)

BEIJING -- Chinese revenue from selling land use rights dropped 38% on the year in April, marking its largest decrease in over six and a half years as the country's zero-COVID policy weighs on the economy.

Land in China is state-owned, with local governments selling usage rights to real estate developers. With stimulus measures eating up more tax revenue, local governments are becoming more reliant on the sales, which reached a level equivalent to around 50% of tax revenue in 2021.

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