Chinese-Built Housing Development in Angola a ‘Ghost Town’

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

From NetEase:

China’s residential project in Angola called a “ghost town”

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on July 2nd that China’s CITIC Group’s residential construction project in Angola, involving over 3.5 billion USD in total investment, has been completed after 3 years. However, this satellite city that can house 500,000 people has, due to high selling prices, been reduced to a “ghost town”. (File photos, taken 2011 2011 May 13)

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

The Chinese embassy in Angola made a clarification, that this residential project has actually not been fully completed, but the first phase of sales has already been very favorable, and “the foreign media’s reports is completely inconsistent with the actual situation”.

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

According to reports, there are 750 buildings of 8 floors each, with a dozen schools and space for over 100 stores and shops. “It is the largest amongst the satellite cities that Chinese companies are building in Angola.” The Angolan government made a short promotional film for the residential area, calling it the “shining jewel” of the country’s post-civil war “crown of reconstruction”.

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

However, the actual residential area does indeed “eerily” quiet. The [BBC] report says there are basically no cars or pedestrians there, that the windows of apartments are closed, and the balconies empty. The BBC says the majority of Angolans are unable to afford the housing prices here. The report says that for many people, the selling prices of 120k to 200k USD in satellite cities is simply an “astronomical price”, and that 2/3rds of Angolans depend on less than 2 USD per day to survive. Even Angola’s highest white-collar workers couldn’t afford the down-payment.

Kilamba in Africa's Angola, a massive 3.5 billion USD Chinese housing construction project, allegedly now still a ghost town despite completion.

Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa expert Elias Isaac says: “The great majority of the population live in shacks with no water, the government needs to start giving priority to building low-cost housing. Angola doesn’t have a middle class in Angola, just very poor and very rich people.” According to reports, Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos had promised in the 2008 elections to construct 1 million homes for the ordinary common people, with the Chinese built satellite city being “an important part of the president fulfilling his promise.”

Comments from NetEase:

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fivejiaonaqu [网易安徽省马鞍山市网友]:

Those bunch of stupid losers have hyped/speculated the housing market all the way to Africa?

俺是一农民 [网易湖北省网友]:

[Head of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’s Africa Research Office] He Wenping says, “This a construction project that benefits everyone, as well as the foundation for African economic growth”. == Sounds familiar!

啊看见 [网易江苏省苏州市网友]:

Everything refuted as a rumor/lie is actually the truth.

9門提督 [网易山东省网友]:

Did you think other countries also use selling land as the primary source of economic growth?

流氓小亨 [网易江西省南昌市网友]:

When people are stupid and don’t have much money, its no good no matter how much you toss and turn [make a fuss].

明前毛峰 [网易安徽省淮南市网友]:

You guys just go ahead and keep taking money out [of the country] and burning it, you spendthrifts!

坐等崩盘 [网易山东省青岛市网友]:

BBC, this time you really have got it wrong, a “ghost town” according to China is a neighborhood where not a single person lives, and this new residential district in Angola no matter what still has a few people living there, so how can you guys say it is a “ghost town”????

武英殿大学士曾国藩 [网易陕西省西安市网友]:

The moment you made a clarification, I believed it…

寂寞看世界 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

You think other people are this stupid too?

lahj [网易北京市网友]:

This is all traded for, Angola has a lot of oil.

xiaowen3081 [网易湖南省长沙市网友]:

The residential area is meant to help improve the people’s livelihoods —— Whether that’s the case there I don’t know, but over here its used to exploit us [with usury]!


A bunch of unscrupulous businessmen who after cheating people out of their money in China have now gone to Africa to lose face for Chinese people.


Invested 3.5 billion USD… how much entered those people’s pockets?

陈则安 [网易广东省江门市网友]:

Domestically [the country] keeps trying to tax us and raise the retirement age while squandering money abroad!!! China, I’m proud of you, I feel such pride!!!

3256521 [网易四川省成都市网友]:

Do foreign countries have “masses who don’t know the truth”? [An expression used by the government to refer to the public when the public believes something that is unfavorable (or sometimes actually not true), similar to another popular expression that accuses troublemakers as people “having ulterior motives”]

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • mr. wiener

    Ghost sofa

    • Duce

      They look like nice apartments… I might buy one. 150.000 USD is not that much, after all. It is in Angola! Probably a good investment.

      • Young Man

        Hey Duce- would you like to buy these magic beans I have here?

      • Nanny Hiccups

        Duce, I’m pretty sure the article says $120,000 not $150 dollars. Hell, I’d buy an entire floor and rent them out for that price.

        • Bruce Tutty

          Who’s want to rent them?

        • Bruce Tutty

          “the foreign media’s reports is completely inconsistent with the actual situation”.

          Oh so after years of obvious lies from the Chinese media, they are now upset because the foreign media isn’t telling the truth…or maybe it is…who can tell?

          Where is the truth to believe?

          • moonmickey

            Its down to the developers do disclose their purpose, hardly the fault of foreign press. Angolans can’t afford them so they are obviously for hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants.

      • Ruaraidh

        Luanda is one of the most expensive cities to live in in the whole world. At least for a foreigner.

  • Apporo

    In a country with a $6000 gdp per capita they expect people to buy houses worth 120k to 200k? WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?

    • Mark

      Actually in many smaller Chinese cities, the per capita GDP is also around US$6000 but units are upwards of US$100k. CITIC probably think what works in China works in Angola as well.

      Last I check, Angola does not have a shortage of girls who can impose sky-high requirements on prospective grooms. In fact, countries emerging from decades of civil war usually have a surplus of girls.

      • Jeff

        Not to sound prejudiced but sleep with African girls vs pretty naive Chinese girls?

        No comparison here… China here I stay…

        • Nanny Hiccups

          Trust me, African girls would not sleep with you anyway. You probably could not satisfy her.

          As far as being naive sexually, I’d put my money on an african girl having more restraint. Pre-marital sex is far more stigmatized in Africa than in other countries. So if you simply mean you do not find African girls attractive, that would make more sense than making a statement that accuses african women of being promiscuous.

          • Justin

            Ouch Jeff, you didn’t sleep with anyone, but you got burned all the same.

          • e_h_carr

            “evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics argues that black women are less physically attractive than other women”


          • Nanny Hiccups

            e_h Carr

            *shrug* he was expressing an opinion and preference. Nothing wrong with that. We all have our preferences. I looked for a scientific or perhaps even a sociological or anthropological analysis but found none. He simply asserted that ‘black women ARE less attractive and here’s why…’ Nothing scientific about that.

            It is not a given that anyone is “unattractive” since beauty is entirely subjective. Or as they say, ‘in the eye of the beholder’.

            Here’s a comment from someone on his (should I call it a theory?) comments,
            ‘Jenée Desmond-Harris at The Root wrote, “The blog’s presentation of the allegedly scientific findings had a decidedly informal tone, especially given the highly contentious conclusions. It struck us as so outrageous that we almost thought it was a hoax of some sort, and we double-checked the URL to make sure it didn’t include ‘The Onion.'”

            Or take this response from the article:

            “Latoya Peterson at Racialicious opined: “Justifying racism using ‘science’ isn’t new, by any means. Every few years, it appears that someone needs to provide a rationale for bigotry, so they publish some sort of madness and hope most of the readers suffer from scientific illiteracy. The problem is that even with a thorough debunking, people latch on to articles like this to confirm their own biases.”

            When I read it, I too thought it a bit too ludicrous to be offensive. It is not framed as a serious theory or scientific argument and trust me, with my academic background I have I have a sociological background. It is an area of interest for me.

            The basis of his article was that black women ARE unattractive because they have a high body mass index and that african females have more male testosterone (though he offers no scientific evidence to support this). He claims that black men are more attractive than nonblack men for these reasons and black women more unattractive when compared to nonblack women.

            Rubbish. Thanks for the link though. I enjoy reading these types of articles :).

          • Niube-an

            Lol Justin’s right – Jeff got burned! Then anonymous troll coward e_H_carr got owned. Nanny Hiccups, you rock!

            Back to the original subject though. China still loses face because the whole world sees them being treated like children by their own government. A nationwide firewall is really just insane for a start but thanks to sites like these we get a glimpse of the real chinese views.
            This sort of unhinged property development is symptomatic of issues in China itself. I think it’s great China is rising & I believe many Chinese genuinely believe in helping out Africa etc. But the whole world can see there are many poor Chinese who the State should be helping first.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            Hey Niubian! Thanks. I think china is fine as long as they don’t make the mistake of modeling their economics after that of the western world. One thing China has done that the west has failed to do is actually INVEST in Africa [ ie, western society patronizing africa by sending them AIDE which is sure to run out over a short span of time rather than make a true investment], but this is without an understanding of african culture which is necessary in order to make sound economical decisions there.

            Make no mistake, America and Europe’s policy on Africa is not to INVEST. Stories like these are very telling, as far as western countries wanting to see China’s investments in Africa failing on two fronts, the first being that with proper investment African countries will rise and eventually sort themselves out, and secondly, China will continue to outpace American and Europe’s economical growth and become a true world power. Not to mention, controlling Africa’s vast amount of resources. The free-for-all would end quickly pushing Arab, American, and European exploiters out.

            Africans do not care about these resources since culturally they simply have no use for them. Their priorities lie elsewhere (as they are more spiritual and matriarchal as a society).

          • mr. wiener

            At least black girls have an arse. Sorry to all you types out there who want a girl to have an arse like a 10 year old boy, but baby’s gotta have back :)

          • Silent Observer

            See….I’m already loving NH! Good job babe.

          • Little Wolf

            Yeah, great cut and paste and pass it off like she wrote it job

          • eattot
          • The Enlightened One

            I would be careful posting your MSN like that eattot.

            You might get more than you bargained for…

          • e_h_carr

            – “He simply asserted that ‘black women ARE less attractive and here’s why…’ Nothing scientific about that.”

            “Dr Kanazawa, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, has published findings based on a survey of white, Asian, black and native American men and women who were asked to rate each other’s attractiveness based on photographs.”


            – “Then anonymous troll coward e_H_carr got owned.”

            e_H_carr was not trolling, e_H_carr was citing an article regarding the beauty of black women after Jeff suggested that Chinese women are more beautiful than Black women. e_H_carr did also not get ‘owned’, and is not a ‘coward’.

          • mr. wiener

            …E_H Carr might want to be careful in the future about posting such contentious post in the future unless of course he/she is looking for an argument [which doubtlessly many people here will be willing to give him/her].
            Which brings up another point…WTF are you posting in the 3rd person?
            That aside like likes like like likes and no amount of studies will change that[whether you like it or not]:)

          • Nanny Hiccups

            @ little wolf — umm i actually did write part of that, and pointed out where i quoted.

            I specifically said, *shrug* he was expressing an opinion and preference. Nothing wrong with that. We all have our preferences. I looked for a scientific or perhaps even a sociological or anthropological analysis but found none. He simply asserted that ‘black women ARE less attractive and here’s why…’ Nothing scientific about that.

            It is not a given that anyone is “unattractive” since beauty is entirely subjective. Or as they say, ‘in the eye of the beholder’.

            Here’s a comment from someone on his (should I call it a theory?) comments,

            When I read it, I too thought it a bit too ludicrous to be offensive. It is not framed as a serious theory or scientific argument and trust me, with my academic background I have I have a sociological background. It is an area of interest for me.

            The basis of his article was that black women ARE unattractive because they have a high body mass index and that african females have more male testosterone (though he offers no scientific evidence to support this). He claims that black men are more attractive than nonblack men for these reasons and black women more unattractive when compared to nonblack women.

            Rubbish. Thanks for the link though. I enjoy reading these types of articles :).

          • Nanny Hiccups

            E_H CARR SAID: “Dr Kanazawa, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, has published findings based on a survey of white, Asian, black and native American men and women who were asked to rate each other’s attractiveness based on photographs.”

            Jeff is entitled to think what he wants about black women v asian women as beauty is in the eye of the beholder – there is nothing wrong with a preference.

            Where “DR” Kanazawa’s research becomes an utter joke is that he fails to take into account what we are socially preconditioned to believe is attractive with respect to each group’s respective culture. If the norm for beauty in Asian culture is pale skin – then naturally black women would be the anti-thesis to that and therefore, not “desirable”. “Dr” Kanazawa is a hack whose foundings were denounced by the ENTIRE scientific community. He stated that black women are unattractive as a “fact” when attractiveness is purely a subject thing even within the socially preconditioned norms.

          • kodi

            I’m sure Dr. Kanazawa was demolished when he had to defend his paper. Enough said……. Its sad to think that some people are capable of thinking in this manner. Beauty is everywhere in every shape, shade, and form.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            well stated Kodi! He should also ask himself why the ONLY Vogue magazine issue to ever reprint several times is Vogue Italian’s “Black” issue, which is still in demand four years later. It’s funny because advertisers said that “black girls don’t sell”. It’s always some expert – making the claim that black women are undesirable when other results prove differently.

            “. Instead of the issue not selling, it became the highest selling issues of Italian Vogue ever, and had run out of print twice, which marked the first time in Condé Nast history that the magazine reprinted an issue to satisfy demand.[10] The reprinted copies had the tag lines: “Most Wanted Issue Ever” and “First Reprint” banded across the front.”

            they even created a Vogue Italian “black” web site because the demand was so high.

            but if you go places like New York you find that many many italian men love and marry black women. And even many prominent people in Hollywood are married to black women and some of them are the richest men in the world.

            1. George Lucas- A billionaire who created Star Wars. He is in a long-term relationship with a black woman.

            2. Robert DeNiro- The majority of women who he dates are black. And all of his wives have been black. His current wife is black.

            3. Matt Stone- Billionaire who is the founder of South Park. He’s married to a black woman.

            4. Michael Fassbender- Most of the women who he dates are either black or mixed with black. Hes in a serious relationship with a black woman now.

            5. Marc Echo- Billionaire designer. He’s married to a black woman.

            6. Peter Norton- Billionaire man who created Norton Security is married to a black woman.

            7. Robin Thicke married to actress Paula Patton.

            8. Roger Ebert – married to black woman who is an attorney.

            The list goes on but I’m too lazy to reply. So obviously black women aren’t “ugly” and unattractive to many great prominent men.
            Everybody wants tanned brown skin, big pouty lips and most women who are not black but born with black characteristics (big butt, lips, etc) are revered as beautiful. Black women are “undesirable” because people fear, especially people from cultures desiring to gain better face in the world, fear that the image of being with a black woman will bring them down socially in the western world. it really has nothing to do with looks, but image – that’s the reason why black women are not sought after. They want to give their offspring a better chance in society and feel they can’t do that if their offspring are half-black. There are many very dark skinned black men who avoid dark skinned black women because they want to have children who are not as dark as they are. it’s all psychological.

    • kevin

      The housing projects is notworth as much now, but with Angolas high reserve of oil and minerals China need they probably predicted that some will become richer in the near future and actually can afford it.

  • Jay K.

    Song of the day


  • Jeff

    I’m American and I can’t afford the down payment either.

    But the Angolans shouldn’t worry as these buildings will self destruct within a few years anyways.

    Hahaha selling 120k to 200k USD homes in Africa to the starving masses!

    What a great idea – NOT

    • Dan

      That’s just sad… stop being so poor please.

  • Liu Yang

    Some Africans live in poor houses because their colonial leaders would rather build and buy villas for themselves in foreign lands,than help the poor.The developers of these Residential buildings must study the market and sociological needs of the population before rushing headlong into building.Well to do Africans have nothing in common with residential layouts.This is because most families inherit land from their ancestors,and prefer to build a number of low-lying houses,with the main building in the centre.Residential buildings are popular in countries where populations are growing astronomically.Africans seem not to be too crazy about high-rise buildings.The apartments in them are not to their taste,since they mostly live off large acres of land.A country like Angola needs policies that will lift the masses out of poverty for a sustained period of time.The civil war wreaked terrible havoc and wiped out the middle class.The gov’t should rather work to strengthen the middle and these are the people that will be able to afford 120k appartments.The Chinese economy is booming,but the middle class still counts on the largesse of the gov’t to be able to afford apartments and pay them off after so many decades.Nobody can fuck out the complete cash and put on the table.Angola has oil,but like Nigeria and many other countries,the proceeds from this oil doesn’t actually trickle down to the ordinary people.In Angola,buildings alone are not going to lift this population that has been blighted by war out of poverty.The gov’t had better involve itself in massive construction of projects,or pour in some stimulus money with a follow up plan to see to it that the middle class is strengthened.Asking international companies to come and construct buildings and sell to weary Angolans is just like sowing in the desert.

    • Young Man

      “Some Africans live in poor houses because their colonial leaders would rather build and buy villas for themselves in foreign lands,than help the poor.”

      What, officials shipping money abroad while the people in their own country are too poor to buy their own homes? Now what does that remind us of?

    • GodsHammer

      Truly objective and on point LIU YANG. Thank you for your contribution.

  • eattot

    maybe they just want to take their land away?

  • kilroy238

    Is there any surprise? Chinese buildings are too expensive for most Chinese to afford you think they are going to do any better in Africa?

    • Dat Ankle

      They could at least done it in a more richer country in Africa if they thought they could pull some profit. It will most likely just witter away as a sad reminder of what could have been.

      • 404 name not found

        True, they would have built them in Abuja (Nigeria). Anything expensive has a very high demand there.

  • whiskersthecat

    Maybe they didn’t want to live in giant storage units disguised as “apartments”. At least that’s every apartment I ever lived in in China. Giant concrete caves, with hotter indoor temperatures in the Summer and miserably colder temperatures in the winter.

  • Misaki

    “The unemployment rate in Angola was last reported at 25 percent in 2010. Historically, from 2005 until 2010, Angola Unemployment Rate averaged 27.3700 Percent reaching an all time high of 35.0000 Percent in December of 2005 and a record low of 25.0000 Percent in December of 2007. The unemployment rate can be defined as the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.”

  • Nanny Hiccups

    I personally find those buildings to look a bit distasteful. And they are right. They are “PROJECTS”. Projects in the U.S. are also called “ghettos”. A human being with a modicum of common sense would not want to be crammed into a living arrangement with thousands of poor people. It’s a disaster waiting to happen as poor people do not do well living amongst each other.

    • Li RuiKe

      “a bit distasteful” is too mild – They’re downright ugly. I first thought I was looking at (Soviet-designed) Beijing. The builders haven’t spent a mao on blueprints for the past 50 years. So frugal. Why waste money on architects when these ugly stacks of concrete boxes have worked so well in China? And, based on how well the buildings have stood up in China, they will work poorly from the start and will decay so rapidly that in 20 years they’ll have to be demolished. I hope nobody is foolish enough to waste their money on them.
      I wonder what their labor costs were and whether or not the workers were ever paid. Maybe they won’t be until all the units are purchased. Doesn’t that sound fair? And, echoing the above comment, the boss was probably paid in oil. I’m also guessing the boss has received a bunch of “humanitarian” awards for helping develop poor Africa. What a hero!

  • moop

    someone needs to tell these buffoons that it doesnt count towards their GDP goals if it isnt built in their own country. last time i checked the cadres werent issuing GNP targets

    • Dan

      The investment was put up by Angola. What you are seeing here is an example of BBC propaganda being targeted at Chinese interests in Africa. Luanda has a rather large (and growing) population, and this place will fill in nicely. If loses are taken, it will be on Angolan investors, not Chinese. China was contracted for this project, the $3.35b ain’t coming from the Chinese. Once again, all we’re seeing here is annoying as all hell 公知 whining about things they do not understand and just want a reason to whine bitch and moan about something.

      • Dan

        Here we go… my bad, it’s $3.53b, but…

        Kilamba was financed by a Chinese credit line – which Angola is repaying with oil – so it has technically been paid for.

        Construction cost is like $7k a unit, Angola can sell that off for whatever it feels like.

      • red scarf

        Also what you don’t see is the link to the BBC article.

        In which the BBC also make this point that its the Angolan investors who wouldlose out. Can you see any China bashing in the article, well not unless you count naming the the country or firms that build it, but then again I often see Swiss, American pre-fixes in Chinese media when relating to companies espcially if they done wrong, I guess they must be propaganda, oh wait its about the chance that Africa maybe suffering the same problems as China, Ireland and Spain because of Ghost towns.

      • Cincinnatus_C

        I’m guessing that initial prices are high to lure in some ridiculous American hedge funds to invest in as speculators…after they take their losses the apartment prices will converge with their market values and hopefully some middle class Angolans can move in. Bc this type of building is clearly built for an expanding middle class. China is building infrastructure all over Africa in exchange for oil and other valuable minerals. There are all kinds of minerals used in making electronics..if China can maintain their own direct investments in these types of mines they don’t have can record all kinds of savings instead of paying foreign mining and trading companies like Glencore. Atleast Africa is getting something in return for their land being raped, whereas the status quo is some shady dictator selling off all the land’s valuable assets for way below market value and keeping the profits to himself.

        oh, and I prefer black girls to Asian girls. They have beautiful bodies with larger breasts and often have pretty faces too. You have to see beyond skin color.

        My concern is that apartments can erode in quality fairly quickly when they are vacant. Vandals/squatters do damage….the places get moldy from not being aerated/no AC, etc etc…hopefully Africans can actually live in these places sometime soon.

        Maybe I’ll buy one. Hey everyone! I’m an absentee landlord in Africa!

  • Young Man

    A couple of years ago my company entered into negotiations (something to do with student loans) with China Citic and two other teachers and myself went to dinner with some of the bosses because they had all worked in the off-shore banking scams in the UK’s channel islands and they ‘liked British people’.

    I had a hangover for two days afterwards and have never touched Baiju again.

    If Citic makes all of it’s deals whilst under the influence I’m not surprised this shit happens. Alchohol and business don’t mix and the Chinese better start waking up and realising this or else they’ll keep embarrassing themselves.

    • simon

      *face palm* honestly, China has never been good at FDI, they should stop trying to invest/develop overseas markets and start focusing on its own land.

      Overseas markets are just a totally different ball game in which the bosses of these SOE’s have no idea about. It’s more likely as you say, these ideas pop up following nights/afternoons of heavy baijiu drinking from the top brass and than the people below follow the directives no matter how illogical these directives may be.

      Anyways, it’s only the tax payers money they are wasting, who cares, more baijiu please.

    • Nick in Beijing

      One of my private students is the CEO of ICBC Leasing, and he often complains of needing to find ways to avoid drinking too much while doing business for exactly the reason you mentioned. He’s afraid of making bad decisions while drunk.

      • Little Wolf

        How about this?

        Stupid-talking Chinese Businessman: Wanna drink?
        Clear-headed guy: No thanks.

        Yes…it defies Chinese social convention. What…you think I get a pass because I’m a foreigner? Half the time they feel even more insulted because the foreigner wouldn’t drink for them. I was in such a situation yesterday with a group of city planners about a theme park. Because I know how to do my job well and saved them alot of money, they decided not get snippy about it. If you know how to do your job you can bypass the whole “earning respect” thing.

        That’s what I would tell him. Works for me.

        • Tranxenne


        • Nick in Beijing

          I said roughly the same thing to him after he complained about that several times. You know how it is though. Custom is too strong to break for some, especially when they have a vested interest in following custom. The guy gets drunk and makes some less than well thought out decisions, but still profits massively from it for himself and the company he works for.

          Could make a lot better decisions if not making those decisions under the influence, but as you pointed out turning down drink at a formal gathering is the quickest way to piss off those you are dealing with and most Chinese businessmen just aren’t strong enough to give a polite refusal and stick with it.

          • Little Wolf

            True. It also matters who is courting who. I’ve watched my boss blow some deals with some big foreign players doing business this way. People that he needed alot but didn’t really need him at all. Sitting with them at these baiju-fueled dinners full of cigarette smoke and stupid talking and watching the looks on their faces that said “this pretty much sucks”.

      • tcmeric

        Ginseng my friend. Like a Korean bride :p

        (I was told that traditionally some korea women .. and men… use ginseng at their wedding to reduce the effects of alcohol. True or not, I don’t know. However, the research is fairly promising in improving alcohol clearance rate from the body. If you google it, you can find other research as well).

    • kodi

      haha its funny you point that out….. One thing you do not understand about Chinese is that unless you are negotiating with the owner of the company or the president of China “perhaps he is also involved in back door deals to funnel money offshore” then the deal is not for the company, the country, or anyone else beside the people you are dealing with and then they may even try to cheat each other in the process in order to grab a bigger proportion of the proceeds for themselves. In a Chinese deal there is no integrity, very seldom legality, and even more so very little regard for consequences thereafter. There is no foresight, no long term planning, and no etiquette other than over the top ass kissing and exaggerated flattery. Chances are the people who oversaw this deal funneled much of the proceeds to offshore bank accounts and sent their families “if they weren’t already there to begin with” to America or Canada beforehand.

  • rollin wit 9’s

    what sucks here and pisses me off is they are taking sh!tty chinese architecture and spreading it to other countries. Dickheads still can’t build a building where every apartment has a view and a qtr of them aren’t recessed into the fcking building. (see 2nd to last pic) leaving those tenants with a fcking tunnel vision view of the outside. They don’t get any sunlight at all!

    On another note:
    China is fcking up the english they post everywhere. I wonder if they are getting the Portuguese right in those signs.

    • simon

      They’re probably trying to undermine English and introduce the Chinglish revolution. It beginning.

    • Nanny Hiccups

      i agree with you, but the sad part is that they look like Chicago Housing Projects, which the City of Chicago has torn down in the past ten years because they were so bad.

      Tell me you don’t see the similarities:

      No one will want to move into anything that reminds them of a ghetto which is what I see when I look at those pictures. I wouldn’t even cross the street near one.

      • rollin wit 9’s

        That is pretty bad. At least they knew enough to tear it down.
        The grass in the pictures above looks like project grass. Thats enough to keep me away since im sure they don’t have lawn maintenance companies

        • Nanny Hiccups

          Yeah it just took them about 40 or 50 years and hundreds of murders unfortunately :( – I once went with a friend whose boyfriend lived in o ne, it was called rockwell gardens, I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life. When you walk into the foyer you are stepping in about of inch of liquid, then you realize its probably urine from the stench. Unfortunately when they tore those buildings down the residents were scattered across the city which led to some territorial issues with the gangs who, in chicago kill strangers on sight (assuming they are there to take someone out or sell dope on their territory). Chicago has had more murders than afghanistan so far this year. Now you know that’s sad. It peaked when those projects were turned down.

          Went to Chicago this past weekend for a wedding, visited a friend and ended up in the midst of a shootout. I am so happy to be home in my city where it’s so nice. I don’t know how people can live like that but I guess they just cope. To think, this is the president’s city. They need to bring the reserves there to get it settled.

          BUT I DIGRESS. When I look at the buildings I think of that city in particular and that’s not a good thing.

          • kodi

            I agree, they need to fix 3rd world problems in 1st world America. So sad that we have those problems there. I am originally from New Orleans, so I know what type of lifestyle you are talking about. Projects are projects are projects no matter where you put them, however charging 120-200,000 dollars for a projects style apartment is just ridiculous…….

          • rollin wit 9’s

            OMG nanny. Where did they have the wedding that got you all stuck in a shoot out. bad part of town? Anywho, ur lucky, say a prayer.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            rollin’ wit nines, actually and i’m going to sound like a jackass now, the wedding was lovely but i went to the “hood” to hang out with a cousin who wanted me to meet her there. we were going to have a sleepover with all of my female cousins in Indiana, which was only a 20 minute drive from this part of chicago. i was trying to convince her to leave so we can get to the house which is in a different state and nice but she told me that part of the “hood” we were in was safe and wanted to talk to some people she knows. Long story short, an argument broke out between some thugs on the block and she said “oh those fools, they always do that” while one guy is swearing up and down (must have been a 16 year old teen) that he doesnt’ fight N words, he shoots. My cousin insists that he’s just talking trash. The group of guys walk past us, as soon as he gets to the end of the block gunshots ring out and bullets are flying. i’m sitting there in a black 2012 nissan altima with tinted windows praying nobody thinks im some high roller involved in the mess. So my cousins hop in their cars, and we peel out. bear in mind, there’s a big old school car with an old body rolling toward us coming the wrong way down the street shooting at every young guy in sight. t’was terrible.

            can’t pay me a million dollars to visit that area again.

          • UkJenT

            Agreed. The sad thing is that most people living in the projects are black. So, I guess the best thing to do is move those people living in housing projects outside the city to the burbs. Let someone else deal with them. I’m tired of these people collecting welfare.

          • Nanny Hiccups

            Let’s take a better solution UKJen… You don’t want blacks living next door to you, you don’t want them working with you, now don’t want them congregating with each other in the projects. Why don’t you just nuke the entire race off the face of the earth? Better solution right? Better yet, send them all off to concentration camps and throw them into ovens, since the mere existence “tires” you so.

          • bert

            Chicago and Detroit are two very corrupt cities in the US. The population gets what they vote for. I would guess most of them are handout wanting lazy butts. Liberals take advantage of their ignorance.

          • UkJenT

            No need to get angry. I simply stated a fact. Just look at the information provided by the CHA:

            I don’t have any problem whatsoever with black people. I don’t have any problem living, working, eating, playing, seeing, or any other action. I just can’t believe that blacks comprise the largest group in leasing CHA apartments. It’s sad. I wish that so many black people wouldn’t be freeloading off the system. They need to get up and do something with their lives. Stop blaming the White man for all your problems. There are plenty of people out there natives, Hispanics, Asians, etc, that don’t take advantage of the system like Blacks do. Just look at the information. In 2010, black occupants totaled 18, 335 as opposed to 4, 905 for all other races and ethnicities.

            And just to make it clear to you. In my first post, I said all people in public housing should be moved out to the burbs, not just blacks in public housing.

      • Jess

        The architecture is pretty similar to the apartment complexes throughout wealthier cities of Southeast Asia, except not as tall. Singapore’s HDB blocks and similar apartment buildings in KL and Jakarta, for example.

        I read somewhere that this complex isn’t slated to launch until the end of this year, which would explain a lot. But I don’t remember where I read that from, either, so I’m a bit iffy on the accuracy…

        • Dan

          There’s that aspect… and then the fact that the listed prices are not anywhere close to what they are actually selling for. Best units selling for $80k and under according to actual local sources. Angola never had a mortgage program before this, and this project alone is causing one to be created so locals can afford it.

          The whole thing was paid for with oil anyways, so what does it actually matter? Angola is getting actual infrastructure in return for resources as well as local jobs…. instead of just cash being funneled to the leaders or being robbed blind by international oil companies.

          • Dr. Jones Jr.

            Are you sure about the ‘local jobs’? To my knowledge, Chinese companies aren’t too famous for using local labor when they build these sorts of projects.

  • rollin wit 9’s

    I knew something was missing. They forgot the metal bars over the windows!

  • Dannisi

    Ah, such fond memories

    • Dannisi

      Nevermind..was supposed to be a reply to
      Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

  • Would this count as a “Chinese Cultural Export”?

    • Nick in Beijing

      Same thought came to mind when I saw those concrete prefabs. I live in a building that is almost identical (at least in appearance) to those (6 floors, about 20 years old, painted concrete walls with exposed piping).

      I have lived in 4 buildings since moving to China (two in the same neighborhood). The first one was about 10 years old, the second was was 4 years old at the time I moved in and the third and fourth are about 20 years old. All of them with concrete walls that were prone to crumbling if holes were drilled in them for hanging shelves, or even towel racks. When they attach and hang things after drilling the holes they use drywall screws where concrete screws should be used. Paint that is unsealed so it dries, cracks and falls off within months. Windows with that are improperly sealed so the sealant cracks and the windows become loose. Pipes are are exposed as often as not, and are routed in such a way that they take up half the shelf and counter space available.

      Cheap, quick, constructs. The saddest thing is that as with the peasants who move into the cities in China and the old folks who survived the cultural revolution and pre-mao China, they will probably consider it a massive step up from what they are used to, so these problems will never enter into the equation when deciding to splurge tons of money on them.

      • Somethin Somethin

        Good Beijing story for you. I was wandering around Beijing back in ’07 when I was a foreign student and I came across a building site. The guys had these pallets of terra cotta tiles lying out, but next to them was a mountain about 3 or 4 meters high. They had sorted out all the cracked tiles from the pallets tossing them in a pile. Out of 20 pallets they must have lost 25% either to manufacturing defect or shit handling. Whenever I think about that dry wall problem in the states during the housing boom I always think “Yeah but you should see the stuff they use to build THEIR houses.”

  • Whatever

    So what is the problem? If they built appartments that they cannot sell because of the high price they set, they will lose money – end of story. If they sell all appartments, they will make money. In any case, it is really only the developers problem – and they will likely adjust the price if they are not right…. no point in reading too much into it…

  • Freak on a Mountain

    Silly Chinese developers.

    You get away with it so easily, back here in the mainland, building crap buildings that nobody really wants, but everybody has to have, because of cultural traditions re: marriage. Guess what? Not everyone wants to live in a giant block of concrete their whole lives, and they’re not going to pay Chinese prices for that scant privelidge. Angolans don’t want your crap construction? Smart. Good for them. A grass hut is better than a crappy minzhai. At least it won’t fall on their heads and kill them if there’s an earthquake.

    The problem is that you’re charging stupid, ludicrous mainland prices for substandard apartments. It works in China, because if you just give it a name like ‘New Times Square’ or ‘Dragon Phoenix Beautiful Villas,’ dumbass nouveaux riches will buy them up like they’re rice or soy sauce, and can somewhat reasonably expect to make money off that. Now, when you build some crappy Chinese concrete crap in Africa, and charge more money for it than an American ranch house, how can you be surprised that there’s not much market for that? The Africans don’t have the money. And the quality of the apartments is not nearly worth the cost. Ergo, FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.

    • The Enlightened One

      I agree. They are definitely fishing in the wrong pond.

      Africans aren’t like Chinese. Chinese always buy up real estate for marriage and because they think it is the best investment possible (besides their children).

      A Chinese apartment just isn’t worth the cost. They are made of cheap concrete, have no insulation (because they are concrete). You can’t even clean the walls, if you try to wash them, it makes a bigger mess… you have to repaint them. Pipes and electrical cords usually stick out all over the place because there is very little dry wall, which can be quite dangerous.

      Things constantly break due to shabby workmanship and materials. I have had more things break in China in five years then I have all my life in North America.

      Chinese apartments JUST aren’t worth it. I would only buy one if it was next to a river or a lake… waterfront property is good for resale later.

      • Rod

        I’m living in a flat that was completely redone 3 years ago. Now there’s a crack in the wall that goes from my bedroom to the living room – probably about 20 feet long. 3 light fixtures have burned out and had to be replaced. The toilet leaks, the hot water heater started a fire, and the floor boards have come up in several places. I’m sure glad I didn’t buy.

        • Joe

          lol where the fuck do you people live? Pipes and cords sticking out? Light fixtures burning out? Toilet leaks? Don’t think I’ve experienced any of that. And The Enlightened one is telling me he can clean drywall?

          • bert

            Joe come to China and you will see it 98% of the time.

          • Somethin Somethin

            The issue isn’t the workmanship, although I could spend plenty of time here bitching about the 3 motherboards the wiring in my old apartment cost me over 2 years. It’s the fact that these things were built at all. They’re prefab houses that don’t meet the pricing qualifications of modern Angolans. China would have been better off using the old A-Frame pre-fab stuff that Americans were building after WW2 than these concrete pylons. Each one of those buildings demands an elevator, more concrete and structural support because it’s over 5 stories tall, and more than likely will contain hundreds of other unnecessary things most Angolans can’t afford.

            Side note: My second thought was that these units will be sold to the new brand of Chinese expat or new rich thinking he’s getting a steal by buying up a 200m flat in Angola for just 200K US

      • Bunny99

        My apartment is near a lake when it rains :)

  • Alexander

    So the real question is, how many gold and diamond mines will they(Beijing) get access to in exchange for basically updating their(Angola) country to the 21st century…..?

  • S. Barret Dolph

    The project was not really a failure but a few mistakes were made by temporary workers.

  • Cleo

    I think it soothes the eye to see Angola starting to modernize. It doesn’t matter if the Chinese had anything to do with it. Angolans deserve hope that their country is sought after for business investment. I’m already impressed by the accommodations available in other African cities showcased on HGTV’s House Hunter’s International.

    Angola, Ready To Do Business with the World!

    • Dat Ankle

      It would be better if the building are worth it, but I agree that its nice to see someone investing in African countries for more then just da starving children.

  • korea21

    i buy one for 5000 won lol

  • moonmickey

    Army barracks!

    • durop`

      Exactly what I was thinking. Perhaps theres something underground too.

      • Bunny99

        yes, a giant car park

  • If they ever come up with a swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, Then Jumping Off Something

    • Dan

      fuck off matt miller

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  • bigj

    I think the buildings are for Chinese people not the natives. They will just send 500,000 chinks to rape the land of natural resources and then leave after 10 or 20 years.Great idea by the Chinese. Now you guys are thinking like the white man;)

  • DRaY

    Who gives a fuck?

  • Vincent

    They are trying to recreate what they’ve been doing in China , on Angola’s territory. They need to understand that Angola is a whole different country, the things that has been working in China wont necessary work in Angola, those businees men are a bit overconfident.
    waste of money.

    • El Puma R.

      Laundry of money, Vincent.

  • Nick in Beijing

    Funny thing. One of my students just wandered in and read the comments I was looking over, and after asking what this article was about she couldn’t comprehend why someone in Africa wouldn’t want to buy an apartment in a Chinese built prefab city.

    The concept of not wanting to live in live in an uninsulated, ill-lit, claustrophobic, concrete cave totally escaped her, and when I told her all of that she admitted not being able to make a reasoned guess at how people might prefer to live outside the cities. Growing up in a concrete jungle herself any other way of life was beyond her comprehension short of actually experiencing it.

    • If people don’t buy those apartments it’s not because they are “uninsulated, ill-lit, claustrophobic”, but just because they don’t have the money. I bet you most Angolans would just love growing up in a Chinese concrete jungle, and couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to either.

      • El Puma R.

        Dude you got ghost towns in China too. So normal to see a chinese giving shit to black people, when the people who bother the most in any other country are the chinese. oh, you didn’t know? 500 million chinese spread all over the world, because your own gvt treats your own people like shit. If I were you , I wouldn’t be so proud, man.

        • Don’t you think you make assumptions a bit too easily? I am not Chinese, as a visit to my blog linked above would make pretty clear. I love the way you people assume anyone who’s got anything good (or just not bad) to say about China must be Chinese.

  • ChineseFighter

    there is a blackman in one of the photos
    and u call it a ghost town, racist!

    • Xiongmao

      What’s a ‘Blackman’?

    • Justice

      Who is this? What has this got to do about the color black? Couldn’t you have said “there is a man in one of the photos” instead of “there is a black man in one of the photos”?
      Do you have scores to settle with black people?

      Elements like you will always turn educative conversations into nasty ones.
      Educate yourself better.

    • Peaceman

      I am from Angola you should be careful what are you saying, ok? There are 260.00 Chines living in Angola, they don’t want to go back to china, and we do treat you guys chines well.

    • Peaceman

      I have been to china, and Angola is a country in which most of you chines want to go and live. For most of population in china cannot find a job and cannot buy a flat, (you call house) so Angola is an opportunity for live. according to many chines i spook too

  • redwhitedude

    These apartment buildings look like the stuff Koreans used to build way back in the 70s.

  • Xiongmao

    “BBC, this time you really have got it wrong, a “ghost town” according to China is a neighborhood where not a single person lives, and this new residential district in Angola no matter what still has a few people living there, so how can you guys say it is a “ghost town”

    I don’t always get Chinese sarcasm. Is this it or plain stupidity?

    • zimon

      Yes it is sarcasm loll

  • Peter

    In China, if you don’t perform like a wolf or a tiger, you will be treated by a wolf or a tiger.

  • Bunny99

    It’s like those super wide highways to nowhere built in the Chinese countryside – they are always a success – everyone connected to the project in anyway and with any power will get a fat red envelope.

    The construction projects keep the migrant workers busy and create jobs for all the drivers, food vendors and VCD sales men who hang around building sites.

    The red envelopes get spent in fancy restaurants and clubs, or on hookers, and so keep the economy going.

    Doesn’t matter if no one uses whatever it is they built. It is always a win-win situation.

  • Derp

    How did they come up with the fact that people from Angola can actually pull out 120k-200k? A whole village wouldn’t even be able to pay off that amount. D:

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  • Davoid

    i bet it is a quiet neighborhood though…

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  • Barbara Trout

    That is exactly some of the problems with state-owned enterprises. Produce more steel than can be used in China or exported. Produce more consumer goods than can be sold in China or overseas. Why not ? Stop producing and the government money stops coming. Unemployment hurts G.D.P. numbers.

    Government officials should be judged by other factors beside G.D.P., like amount of debts, quality of life (pollutions) and budget surplus etc