China's Empty Cities: These Satellite Images Will Shock You


By Gus Lubin and Mamta Badkar

China's notorious ghost cities are a disaster waiting to happen, according to a new report from CBS News' "60 Minutes." Take it from the CEO of Vanke, the country's largest residential real estate developer, who tells the news program that developers are deep in debt, projects are being abandoned, and things could get ugly fast. The nightmare scenario could be like America's housing crash but worse.

"It's like walking into a forest of skyscrapers, but they're all empty," financial analyst Gillem Tulloch said of another ghost city, Chenggong. We're taking this occasion to check with satellite imagery on China's most famous empty developments. Of course things may be better than they seem. Yale's Stephen Roach argues that China is experiencing "the greatest urbanization story the world has ever seen," and that these ghost cities will soon become "thriving metropolitan areas."

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