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Shenyang in China's northeastern Liaoning province, where half-finished luxury mansions lie empty and unsold, is a stark symbol of China's crippled housing market and the post-COVID economic boom that wasn't.    © (AFP/Jiji)
The Big Story

China in charts: Missing economic boom points to slowing post-COVID growth

Economists say industrial model based on infrastructure and real estate is grinding to a halt

CK TAN, KENJI KAWASE and GRACE LI, Nikkei staff writers | China

DONGGUAN/HONG KONG -- "By rights, we should be in a peak period," said Michael Lu, founder and president of premium gift box producer Brothersbox, based in Dongguan, China. The period from May to October is gift box season -- the lead-up to Christmas -- when Lu's company usually makes most of its money.

However, this year, something strange has happened. "Orders decelerated," said the 51-year-old Lu, who presides over a team of 240 workers and counts Disney and Marks & Spencer among his customers. He is not alone. Throughout Dongguan, a city in southern China dubbed the "world's factory" for its concentration of export manufacturers, many are telling similar stories.

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