New Versions of Paris and Venice Aim for China’s Surburbanites
The Champs-Elysees is eerily empty in a copycat version of the famous avenue that was built in a Hangzhou suburb. It’s one of the most striking examples of Chinese developers’ penchant for recreating Europe in the Orient, so the rising middle and upper class can buy a piece of the continent. Paris has yet to take off, due to a promised subway extension that never arrived, while a revamped Venice booms. Some hope the mimicry will soon give way to more original ideas, combining the best of East and West.