Advice on investing in real estate in Taiwan “after reunification” is going viral on Chinese social media networks in the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The viral blog post urges people from China to “participate bravely” in reunification “and then go to Taichung to buy a house.”
In November 2021, a real estate blogger known by the alias “Uncle Kai from Wuhan” published an article titled, “How To Pick a House to Buy in Taiwan After Reunification.” In this article, which was republished on a blogging platform called QQ on Monday, there is a parenthetical disclaimer at the beginning which says: “Don’t ask me why I’m reposting this article, this is just an article that analyzes the potential opportunities for buying a house in Taiwan from an investment perspective, and the content is relevant to home buyers in Taiwan. Ignoring superficial disturbances, this article, at its core, is about how to choose and buy a house.”
Following Pelosi’s dramatic landing in Taiwan Tuesday, a Weibo topic with the same title as the article began trending with 476,000 views, with users reposting the blog.
The article has three sections: “The Current Situation of City Development in Taiwan Province,” “The Current State of Taiwan’s Housing Market,” and “Which One Is Worth Buying?” The first section shares statistics about the region’s economy, population, and GDP, and compares this data to Shanghai’s corresponding figures. It also lists what the writer calls seven core cities of Taiwan Province, because they are the best-performing in the economic and real estate sectors.
The second section talks about how real estate prices in the seven cities have been rising, with Taipei being the most expensive city, even more expensive than Shanghai. The third section discusses each city, eliminating and writing out reasons why the investment should not be made in the first six cities. The city that he concludes should be invested in is Taichung. He writes, “If the reunification starts, we have reason to believe that Taiwan’s housing prices will fall by far more than 12%. … In that case, the average price of [housing in] Taichung will be about 12,000 [RMB per square meter]. So for such a city with a superior location and huge development space, I think this price will be very worth buying.”
At the end of the article, Uncle Kai asks, “Now that we have our investment goals and clear investment prospects, how do we buy at the right time?” He answers with “two tricks.” One, he says, you can join the army: “Once the reunification begins, participate bravely, and then go to Taichung to buy a house.” The other option, he says, is to “find a Taiwanese wife, and start a small business […] When the reunification time comes, you can immediately buy a few more properties, and just wait as you make a fortune. It is a pity that Uncle Kai has a wife, and marrying another one will be life-threatening, so this road will not work.”
Pelosi landed in Taiwan at 10:50 p.m. local time on Tuesday, making her the highest-level American official to visit the autonomous island in 25 years, defying threats from the Chinese government. Last week, in a phone call between President Biden and Xi Jinping, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned “playing with fire will set yourself on fire.”
After Pelosi’s plane landed, China’s Foreign Ministry issued another statement, saying her visit “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence.’”
Now, the world is watching for what unfolds next. This morning, over 700,00 people were tracking Pelosi’s flight on flight tracking platform FlightRadar24, making it the most-tracked flight in the site’s sixteen-year history.
In China, popular social media site Weibo has heated up over this issue, with topics like “Pelosi” and “World War III” becoming popular. The site is facing slow load times and crashing pages as many users take to the site to express their opinions on Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. One trending topic is about how to buy real estate in Taiwan after it becomes “reunified”—which refers to China taking full control of Taiwan, which currently has its own sovereign democratic government—as part of mainland China. Taiwan currently has strict rules in place on home buyers from mainland China, including restrictions on quick re-sales and background checks to exclude people with links to the Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army, according to Reuters. Taiwan also has a small quota of 400 flats that are allowed to be sold to mainland Chinese buyers. Yet, mainland Chinese buyers are eyeing the region, including buying properties under the table, because of the lucrative real estate opportunities in Taiwan’s cities, which has seen surging house prices in the last few years.
Besides Uncle Kai’s article, a similar topic, “Buying property in Taiwan,” has 1.26 million people views on Weibo. Within these discussion forums, many people are posting images of a slideshow version of Uncle Kai’s article. One version of the slideshow has the LouPan logo watermarked on the top right corner, which is a Chinese realty company that has houses for sale on its site of most major mainland Chinese cities.
As the Chinese government ramps up its threats following Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, after it has already made repeated promises to take control of Taiwan, it seems that Chinese netizens are jumping on an economic opportunity in real estate.
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