Beijing Exceeded Washington D.C. In Globalization
Move aside, Washington D.C. Step away, Singapore. Beijing has you both beat.
According to a new study, Beijing is now the world's eighth-most global city, breaking into the top 10 for the first time.
The global cities index, published Monday, found that China's capital city is eclipsed only by New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los
Angeles and Chicago, in that order. Its analysis is based on factors such as business activity, information exchanges and cultural experiences. The report, which covers 84 cities, also weighs political engagement, as defined by how influential a given city is in "global policy dialogue", and other factors such as presence of embassies, international organizations and number of political conferences annually hosted.
Published by Chicago-based consulting firm AT Kearney, the report attributed Beijing's jump in the rankings to its increase in Fortune 500 companies, international schools, museums and broadband subscribers.
It's unclear whether speed of broadband — often lamentably slow in China — was a factor in the ranking. (One also presumes the fact that the country's Internet is cut off from numerous foreign websites would be a knock against openness of information exchange, or more specifically freedom of expression, another criteria the report measured.) AT Kearney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment during Asian business hours.
The second-highest ranked mainland Chinese city was Shanghai, which trailed Beijing by a considerable factor and clocked in at No.18, though it enjoyed a higher "human-capital" ranking, given its larger foreign-born population and levels of education, the report said.
Other cities whose stars rose or fell significantly included Istanbul, which jumped nine places to 28. Bangkok, meanwhile, slipped 16 places thanks in part to repercussions from recent political instability. Boston took a tumble to 21 place, down six spots, with the authors saying that, among other changes in the city's landscape, its "music and theater scene have also failed to keep up with those of other cities".