SOHO China is a Chinese building developer, primarily in the office and commercial sector, with some residential and mixed-use properties in its portfolio. The company, which uses the name "SOHO" in both English and Chinese contexts, was founded in 1995 by Chairman Pan Shiyi (潘石屹) and CEO Zhang Xin (张欣).[2] The name SOHO comes from the phrase "Smart Office, Home Office" as the company decided to combine office rooms and residential apartments in the same building to facilitate a comfortable and productive environment.[3]

SOHO China
Company typePublic
ISINKYG826001003 Edit this on Wikidata
IndustryReal estate
FounderPan Shiyi
Zhang Xin
HeadquartersBeijing, People's Republic of China (de facto)
Cayman Islands (Incorporated Office)
Area served
People's Republic of China
Key people
Pan Shiyi (Chairman)
Zhang Xin (CEO)
RevenueIncrease RMB2.191 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020)[1]
Decrease RMB1.600 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020)[1]
Decrease RMB543.466 Million (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease RMB70.704 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease RMB37.547 Billion (Fiscal Year Ended 31 December 2020)[1]

SOHO China focuses on developing properties in the central business districts of Beijing and Shanghai. SOHO China developments are known for their modern architecture, with designs from figures such as Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid,[4] and Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.[5] The company has developed over five million square meters of commercial properties.[6] Many of its buildings have won awards and other recognition for their design.[7][8][9][10]

Fortune has described SOHO China as ""one of the country's most high-profile real estate firms",[4] and The New York Times has described the company as China's only pure prime office developer.[11][12] Having shifted from a "build to sell" to "build to hold" strategy in 2012,[13][14][15] the company now holds 1.4 million square meters of office space in Beijing and Shanghai for long-term investment.[16][17][18] Although the company has sold several properties in the late 2010s, Pan Shiyi has said that "Soho will continue to hold and operate its core assets in Beijing and Shanghai".[15] Pan also noted in 2016 that the transition to "build to hold" was requiring the company to endure some difficult times,[15] but by the following year rental income had increased by 44%, contributing to a 69% increase in annual net profits for the company.[19]

In June 2021, Pan and Zhang struck a deal to sell a controlling stake to Blackstone for $3 billion.[20]

History edit

Sanlitun SOHO.
Galaxy SOHO.
Wangjing SOHO includes the third-tallest woman-designed building in the world.
Hongqiao SOHO, also known as Sky Soho; designed by Zaha Hadid
Fuxing 3Q in Shanghai

SOHO China was founded in 1995 by Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi.[21] Within 10 years of the company's founding, it became the largest property developer in China.[22] SOHO China found its identity in 2000, with the advent of the Internet and the entrepreneurial excitement that followed. Small scale start-ups formed in abundance around China, and these burgeoning business needed a space to work.[3]

On October 8, 2007, SOHO China had an IPO in which it was successfully listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (Stock Code: 410), raising proceeds of US$1.9 billion,[11] the largest ever IPO from a private enterprise in China, after which the company was able to move more aggressively into the prime real estate of Beijing and Shanghai.[23] As of 2019 SOHO China retains the distinction of being Asia's largest commercial real estate IPO.[12][23]

By mid-2013, CNN reported that SOHO China had "18 developments in Beijing, many of them landmark buildings", with an additional 11 properties in Shanghai.[24] As of 2019, the company had also been named one of the "Most Admired Companies" in China by Fortune (China edition) six times since 2006.[25]

Corporate affairs edit

The headquarters of SOHO China is in the Chaowai SOHO (朝外SOHO) in Chaoyang District, Beijing.[26]

Projects edit

Beijing edit

SOHO's earliest projects were in Beijing, and the company has had a substantial impact on the city, such that Zhang Xin has been referred to as "the woman who built Beijing".[27] Zhang, with Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who designed several of the most striking SOHO buildings, have been described as "the women transforming Beijing's skyline", and as "powerful partners in shaping corporate building design in some of China's biggest cities".[4] As of 2019, the company continues to have various additional projects under construction in that city.

Commune by the Great Wall edit

One of the first major SOHO projects, the Commune by the Great Wall (Chinese: 长城脚下的公社) is a private collection of modern architecture and SOHO China-managed boutique hotel, in Beijing, near the Badaling section of the Great Wall, which is one of Beijing's biggest tourist destinations. It was exhibited at La Biennale di Venezia in 2002 and was bestowed a special prize, with project mastermind Zhang Xin being recognized for her "bold personal initiative which emphasizes the role of 12 Asian architects in building privately owned houses in a definitively contemporary manner".[27] The Centre Pompidou in Paris now houses the exhibited model, made of wood and cardboard, as its first permanent collection from China.

The Commune consists of private villas designed by 12 prominent Asian architects. This project's vision was to encourage creativity to influence a new generation of Asian architects, developers and consumers. At the Shuiguan section of the Great Wall- the Commune shares the tranquility of the mountains with a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Commune's clubhouse and 11 villas, which each have a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms are nestled in a valley totaling eight square kilometers. Some of its luxurious villas have sauna rooms, accessible rooftops, terraces or BBQ facilities. Commune by the Great Wall is destination for corporate functions, events, weddings, film shoots and fashion shows. The Commune has furniture and other interior decorations from such distinguished designers as Serge Mouille, Thierry Hoppe, Von Robinson, Philippe Starck, Alex Strub, Claudio Colucci, Ross Menuez, Kaname Okajima, Jonas Damon, Karim Rashid, Matthew Hilton, Marc Newson, and Michael Young.[27]

Jianwai SOHO and SOHO Shangdu edit

By 2004, SOHO was undertaking the construction of additional developments including Jianwai SOHO and SOHO Shangdu, both highly regarded projects.[23] Jianwai SOHO is a residential and commercial complex of eighteen towers built as part of a larger Soho City project intended to provide housing for 50,000 people.[28] It was designed by Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto, at the invitation of Pan Shiyi, who stated that "Beijing is not a testing ground for foreign architectural works. It is a place where their masterpieces can be brewed".[29]

During the same period, SOHO brought in Australian company Lab Architecture Studio to design SOHO Shangdu, a shopping and residential complex in Beijing's central business district. Following Lab Architecture's avant-garde style, SOHO Shangdu was designed as "a combination of irregular and upside-down triangles".[29] Pan noted that despite the increased cost of such designs, "they are well accepted by the market".[29] Zhang Xin characterized the construction boom during which SOHO was building these projects as part of the release of an "incredibly repressed energy" for construction in China.[28]

Sanlitun SOHO edit

Sanlitun Soho opened in the Chaoyang District of Beijing in 2010, and was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, with 465,680 square meters of space distributed between five shopping malls and nine mixed-use office and apartment buildings which "cluster around an outdoor waterscaped courtyard".[30] Architectural Record gave the project a merit award for Best Commercial Project in 2012, writing that "by clustering its buildings along a curving, mid-block passageway, it creates the sense of a compact neighborhood with its own architectural identity".[7]

Galaxy SOHO edit

Galaxy SOHO is a group of four dome-shaped fourteen-story towers in close proximity to the Forbidden City, with open interiors and a combination of shopping mall and office space,[8] with 330,000 square meters of space.[31] The building was designed by Zaha Hadid and opened in 2012, receiving an award the following year from the Royal Institute of British Architects.[8] A review in The New York Times said of the complex, "[a] gargantuan structure of white curved orbs connected by sky-bridges, it towered over the squat, Soviet-style buildings nearby — like a spaceship just landed in downtown Beijing".[30] Fortune magazine stated that "its futuristic shape changed an otherwise rectangular skyline".[4] Aaron Betsky, writing for Architect magazine, said of the complex that "everything flows, curves, slides, and piles up in a manner that leads both your body and your eye on through the complex". He found the public and semi-public spaces to be "particularly successful, as their fluidity draws you in and around, while never overwhelming or intimidating you".[8]

Wangjing SOHO edit

Wangjing SOHO (望京SOHO) is a complex of three curvilinear asymmetric skyscrapers, also designed by Zaha Hadid,[4] opened in 2014 in Wangjing, a suburb of Beijing, between central Beijing and Beijing Capital International Airport.[32] The towers contain both office and retail space. Originally it was designed as a two-tower complex but due to height concerns it was redesigned as a three-tower project featuring towers of lower maximum height.[33] One of the more than a dozen properties developed by SOHO China, the complex officially opened on 20 September 2014.[34][4]

The structure has curvilinear tower walls "designed to look like fluid mountains",[4] and evoking "dancing Chinese fans",[32] and including the third-tallest woman-designed building in the world. In 2015, it received the 2014 Emporis Skyscraper Award, the first skyscraper in China to be selected for this honor.[9] In 2016, it was one of four buildings to receive awards determined by the China International Exchange Committee for Tall Buildings (CITAB) and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in their inaugural China Tall Building Awards.[10]

Leeza SOHO edit

Leeza SOHO (also known as Li Ze Tower) is a Skyscraper located in the Lize Financial Business District in Beijing, China. SOHO acquired land use rights for the cite in 2013 for ¥1.922 billion RMB (US$288 million).[35] The building was designed be Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher,[36][37][38] with construction beginning in 2015 and set to be completed in 2019.[36] The Leeza SOHO features a huge 190 metres (623 ft) tall twisting atrium at its center, which when completed will be the tallest in the world,[4] surpassing the title currently held by the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. The atrium 'twists' 45° over the length of the building to allow natural light to all floors. Structural rings at each level, four sky bridges, and a double-insulated glass facade unite the two halves of the tower together. It is located at the intersection of Lines 14 and 16 currently under-construction for the Beijing Subway rail network.[36]

Shanghai edit

Shanghai is SOHO China's other main area of development, beginning with the completion of The Exchange-SOHO in Shanghai's affluent Nanjing West Road area in 2008, and the acquisition of land for development in the Bund region in 2010.[23] In August 2018, SOHO China announced the sale of three of its Shanghai properties, Hongkou SOHO, north of the city's Bund area, SOHO Tianshan Plaza, and Lingkong SOHO, in the Changning district.[15][39]

Prominent Shanghai projects include:

  • SOHO Century Plaza, a 24-story high-rise building in the Pudong commercial district of Shanghai. It was sold by SOHO in July 2016 for 3.22 billion yuan, or 76,700 yuan per square metre, a price described as "a 21 per cent premium on its book value".[15][19]
  • SOHO Fuxing Plaza, a mixed-use development with retail and offices, opened in 2014 in Shanghai, developed by SOHO and designed by firms gmp Architects (Germany) and Aim Architecture (China).[40][41]
  • Bund SOHO, a development of classical European-style buildings in Shanghai designed by Chinese firm Aim Architecture.[42] In 2016, it was one of four buildings to receive awards determined by the China International Exchange Committee for Tall Buildings (CITAB) and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) in their inaugural China Tall Building Awards.[10] As of 2017, it was reported to have an occupancy rate of 96%.[19]
  • Hongkou SOHO, which has 95,000 square meters of space, and "is enveloped in a pattern of pleated aluminum mesh measuring 18mm in width and as a whole, visualizes like a woven lace".[5] As of 2017, it was reported to have an occupancy rate of 96%.[19]
  • Hongqiao SOHO, also known as Sky Soho, designed by Zaha Hadid and completed in 2014.[43] Due to its proximity to a nearby transportation hub, the building is designed to evoke high-speed rail cars.[43]
  • Gubei SOHO, the seventh Shanghai property to be built by SOHO China. It is a 38-storey tower at the intersection of Hongqiao Road and Yan'an Road designed by architect James von Klemperer of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, drawing inspiration from the Endless Column by Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși. The project begin with the acquisition of the site by SOHO in 2013 for RMB 3.19 billion, and was completed in March 2019, with construction costs of RMB 1.7 billion. The building is LEED gold-certified, and includes over 52,738 square meters of office space, and over 60,000 square meters of retail space. It is located near Tianshan Plaza, and will be linked with the Shanghai metro via Yili Road Station.[44]

SOHO 3Q edit

In 2015, the company launched its shared-office product, SOHO 3Q, which provides business community and office space to entrepreneurs in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Chongqing.[45] Headquartered at Chaowai SOHO in Beijing,[46] by July 2016, the coworking space had 12 spaces in China, five in Beijing and seven in Shanghai.[47] SOHO China first contemplated the idea of a co-working space in August 2014 in line with other companies taking part in the sharing economy, such as Airbnb and Uber.[48] After detailed research on 30 internet companies,[49] real estate tycoon and company chairman, Pan Shiyi announced the 3Q project in January 2015. Considered to be "Act 3" for the company, the initiative is meant to also cater to a large number of small- and medium-sized companies that no longer rent long-term office space and instead prefer to rent for a week, a month or half a year.[50] The first two spaces–Wangjing 3Q in Beijing and Fuxing 3Q in Shanghai–opened on February 1, 2016.[51] At that time, 3Q become the largest coworking space in China with about 1500 seats and spurred the subsequent growth of a range of local coworking spaces and options. In April 2016, Guanghualu II 3Q opened in CBD Beijing with more than 3000 seats and Guanghualu II is the largest space of 3Q as the brand's flagship store.

Table of tall buildings edit

SOHO China buildings reported in the Skyscraper Center database of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat:[52]

Building Year Max height (m/ft) Floors City Function
The Exchange–SOHO 2005 217 metres (711.9 ft) 52 Shanghai Office
Guanghualu SOHO 2008 60 metres (196.9 ft) 16 Beijing Office/retail
SOHO Century Plaza 2012 - 24 Shanghai Office
Galaxy SOHO 2012 67 metres (219.8 ft) 15 Beijing Office/retail
Wangjing SOHO T1 2014 118 metres (387.1 ft) 25 Beijing Office
Wangjing SOHO T2 2014 127 metres (416.7 ft) 26 Beijing Office
Wangjing SOHO T3 2014 200 metres (656.2 ft) 45 Beijing Office
Bund SOHO 2015 135.6 metres (444.9 ft) 31 Shanghai Office
Hongkou SOHO 2015 133.5 metres (438.0 ft) 29 Shanghai Office
SOHO Fuxing Plaza 2015 105 metres (344.5 ft) 27 Shanghai Office
SOHO Leeza Tower 2019 207 metres (679.1 ft) 46 Beijing Office
Gubei SOHO Tower 2019 - 38 Shanghai Office

Philanthropy edit

Founded in 2005, the SOHO China Foundation oversees all of the philanthropic activity on behalf of SOHO China.[53] The Foundation's mission is to fund education initiatives that support Chinese students from underserved communities.[54] The Foundation's primary project is the SOHO China Scholarships, a US$100 million initiative to endow financial aid scholarships for Chinese students at top international universities,[55] including Harvard University (July 2014) and Yale University (October 2014).[56][57] The SOHO China Foundation, through its "Teach for China" program, has previously funded education programs in poor rural areas in China.[58]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "SOHO China Group 2020 Annual Report" (PDF). SOHO. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  2. ^ Bei, Hu (January 14, 2007). "Soho China revives IPO plan". International Herald Tribune (Bloomburg). Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  3. ^ a b "Zhang Xin speaks on modern design, culture, and architecture". Council on East Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center at Yale University. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Meet the women transforming Beijing's skyline". 25 September 2014. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  5. ^ a b "Kengo Kuma creates a pleated aluminum mesh façade for Shanghai office tower". 16 July 2016. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  6. ^ "Zhang Xin: The Woman Who Built Beijing". 11 August 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  7. ^ a b Xin Jin (July 16, 2012). "China Awards 2012: Sanlitun SOHO by Kengo Kuma and Associates: Best Commercial Project: Merit Award". Architectural Record.
  8. ^ a b c d Betsky, Aaron (December 21, 2017). "Zaha Hadid Controls the Curve". Architect.
  9. ^ a b Rosenfield, Karissa (30 September 2015). "Zaha Hadid's Wangjing SOHO Wins Emporis Skyscraper Award".
  10. ^ a b c Rosenfield, Karissa (26 February 2016). "Winners of the Inaugural China Tall Building Awards".
  11. ^ a b "Developer Is China's Latest Hot Stock Offering". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 Mar 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Zhang Xin & family". Forbes. Retrieved 22 Mar 2018.
  13. ^ "Beijing Billionaire Couple's Real Estate Developer Soho China Says 1st-Half Profit Soared". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  14. ^ "Who Says China is Building Too Much?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  15. ^ a b c d e Zheng, Yangpeng (17 August 2016). "Soho China to sell three more non-core sites, all in Shanghai". South China Morning Post.
  16. ^ "SOHO plans spinoff of co-working division". Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  17. ^ "Zaha Hadid Architects Unveil Photographs of "World's Tallest Atrium" Under Construction in Beijing". ArchDaily. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  18. ^ "Zhang Xin: The woman who built Beijing". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  19. ^ a b c d Lo, Jennifer (March 23, 2017). "Soho China shares climb 7% on robust office leasing". Nikkei Asian Review.
  20. ^ Zhong, Raymond (2021-06-17). "As China Scrutinizes Its Entrepreneurs, a Power Couple Cashes Out". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  21. ^ William Mellor (September 2010). "Beijing Billionaire Who Grew Up With Mao Sees No Housing Bubble". Bloomberg Markets magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
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  24. ^ Chiou, Pauline (3 July 2013). "Richer than Trump or Oprah: Meet China's female property magnate". CNN. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  25. ^ "25家最受赞赏的中国公司——全明星榜". Forbes China. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Home". SOHO China. Retrieved 2020-08-05. SOHO China Ltd. Chaowai SOHO, Building A, Floor 11 6B Chaowai Street, Chaoyang District Beijing 100020, China - Chinese address: "北京市朝阳区 朝外大街乙6号 朝外SOHO A区11层 邮编:100020"
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  28. ^ a b "The second industrial revolution". BBC. 11 May 2004.
  29. ^ a b c "Overseas architects challenged by Chinese culture". China Daily. October 1, 2004.
  30. ^ a b Sebag-Montefiore, Clarissa (November 6, 2012). "The Belly of an Architecture". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Lee, Evelyn (July 28, 2013). "Discover Zaha Hadid's Futuristic Galaxy SOHO Complex in Beijing (Video)". Complex.
  32. ^ a b John O' Ceallaigh (8 Jan 2013). "Pirated Zaha Hadid building under construction in China". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013.
  33. ^ William Wang (December 5, 2011). "The Changing face of Beijing architecture- Wangjing Soho". CRI.
  34. ^ "Billionaire Couple's Soho China Opens Newest Zaha Hadid Building In Beijing". Forbes.
  35. ^ "SOHO China Limited - Annual Report 2014, Page 17" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  36. ^ a b c "Zaha Hadid Architects - Leeza SOHO". Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  37. ^ "Zaha Hadid Designs World's Tallest Atrium".
  38. ^ "CSCEC 8th Bureau Wins General Contract for Lize SOHO Project in Beijing".
  39. ^ "SOHO China Plans to Sell 3 Shanghai Properties". Mingtiandi. 18 August 2016.
  40. ^ Mairs, Jessica (30 September 2014). "Aim Architecture designs "back to the future" interiors for Shanghai shopping centre". Dezeen.
  41. ^ "SOHO Fuxing Lu / gmp Architekten". Archdaily. 14 August 2015.
  42. ^ Morby, Alice (5 July 2016). "Aim Architecture creates new home for Soho China in Shanghai". Dezeen.
  43. ^ a b Flannery, Russell. "Billionaire Couple's Soho China Opens Zaha Hadid Building In Shanghai". Forbes.
  44. ^ Alcocer, Jesus (5 March 2019). "Soho China Opens Gubei Soho Project in Shanghai". Mingtiandi.
  45. ^ "Soho China Considers Listing Shared-Office Unit". Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  46. ^ "Chaowai SOHO - SOHO China". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  47. ^ "SOHO3Q 首页". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  48. ^ Tan, Reported by Eunice Yoon, Written by Liza (2015-06-03). "Chinese property tycoon bets on 'uber for offices'". CNBC. Retrieved 2016-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  49. ^ "潘石屹:采访30家互联网公司,被一个事实震惊!-搜狐". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  50. ^ Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Chinese Billionaire Zhang Xin: 'The Old Model Doesn't Work Anymore'". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved 2016-07-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  51. ^ "SOHO 3Q就是潘石屹的秘密计划_易优安_新浪博客". Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  52. ^ "SOHO China Co. Ltd". Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  53. ^ "How this Chinese property entrepreneur is changing the lives of young people". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  54. ^ "SOHO Foundation website". Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  55. ^ "The Rise of the Chinese Philanthropist". the New York Times. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  56. ^ "SOHO China's $15M Harvard Gift: Is The Money Better Spent In China?". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  57. ^ "SOHO Signs Scholarship Agreement with Yale". China Daily. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  58. ^ "Beijing Billionaire Couple To Donate $100 Million For Overseas Scholarships". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-05-15.

External links edit