Price of upscale condominium apartment in Shanghai Pudong - 50,000 RMB per square meter. That's 300,000 pesos per square meter or 30M pesos for a 100-square meter condo unit.
Price of condominium apartment in Shanghai, 20km away - 6,000 RMB per square meter. 36,000 pesos or 2.2M pesos for a "Serendra class" domicile. But, two hours' drive or commute.
Price of Volkswagen Golf in Shanghai - 100,000 RMB. Only 600,000 pesos for a Volkswagen AG vehicle! although made by SAIC right here in Shanghai.
Catch: the license plate will cost 40,000 RMB. Similar to Singapore, an attempt to reduce the volume of traffic choking the roads. If you register your car in Ningbo, it will cost much less but you cannot drive your car on the elevated highways here in Shanghai.
So total cost of ownership of that Golf is 140,000 RMB or 850,000 pesos. Still not bad! priced the same as a compact Japanese car back home.
Cheapest car in Shanghai: Chery QQ, 25,000 RMB (152,000 pesos). The license plate costs twice as much as the car! but, I've never seen a Chery QQ here. Apparently you'd lose face in Shanghai with a Chery QQ. But in the smaller cities, they are supposed to be ubiquitous.
Also: very few people drive Japanese cars, because college students are known to vandalize or deface Japanese cars. Well, with a Golf going for 100,000 RMB, who needs Japanese, right?
On the topic of cars, this
is by far the most populous car on the streets of Shanghai. The Volkswagen Santana, which has been produced in more or less this form, since 1986. It's a Passat derivative, initially designed by Volkswagen of Brazil.
SAIC (the Chinese VW joint venture) continues to produce the Santana to this day, alongside the slightly-upgraded Santana 3000. They even have ABS on this thing!
Almost all of the taxis on the road are this car. I have already spent eight hours of my life inside this car. Four days now, one hour from the hotel to the office; and another hour back to the hotel from the office.
To be honest I grow weary of riding in these homely cars. I look out the taxi window and see all these nice cars whizzing past. And I grow weary of the 236 RMB buffet dinner at the hotel. A bland exercise, but I don't have the nerve to go out and find some decent dimsum.
I've been here four days now. Two more to go. I would very much like to go home.