Sending out the right signals

ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY of Media and Communications’ (ZUMC) broadcasting tower stands prominently aloft the city’s smog filled skyline. The 22-storey, yellow and blue building introduces some much needed vitality to a landscape dominated by the construction industry’s darker shades, writes Jason Craig.

The media tower is of huge significance for the Hangzhou region of China, as it is only one of two such buildings to be owned by the state. As it works closely with local and central government, candidates are guaranteed to receive the very best in skill development and training for radio, TV and film.

Built at a cost of 130 million Yuan, it clearly shows that China is investing in the future. With 17 broadcasting studios, they fill air time with locally sourced programmes and ‘state’ TV, which includes international news recorded 657 miles away in Hong Kong.

The choice of location – a tourist city in the North of the Zhejiang province – is a calculated one. Why? Because it typifies what the Peoples’ Republic is all about: a bright and prosperous new era that will banish past memories dogged by stagnant economic growth.

Just like the media tower, Hangzhou city is quickly becoming an integral hub of information exchange, in this case all-things commerce related. The city has remained one of the country’s most prosperous and renowned, in part due to its tea industry that has helped part-fund its continuing re-development.

With a population of 6,776,000, Hangzhou weighs in six-times the size of Birmingham, but only in the last fortnight has it really registered itself on the world’s business map. With Ford off-loading Volvo to Zhejiang Geely Motors for $1.8bn, it has become the site of the country’s single biggest overseas investment.

With the local economy at an all time high (real estate value is equal to or greater than that in the UK pre-recession), so is consumer confidence, with ZUMC one of the biggest beneficiaries. It now welcomes 10,000 students through its doors every day, with its ‘28 top-brand subjects’ led by an 800-strong teaching staff team.

For anyone fortunate enough to receive a tour of the Perform and Broadcast Tower’s viewing platform in the centre of ZUMC’s campus, they will be left in no doubt that the surrounding Hangzhou city leaves a lasting impression that sends out all the right signals.


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Filed under China Trip 2010

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