Video Duration 24 minutes 00 seconds
From: 101 East

China’s Free Trade Mecca

With its beaches, duty-free shopping and booming real estate, could the tropical island of Hainan become China’s new Hong Kong?

Hainan – a tropical island in the country’s south, known as the “Hawaii of China” – is a playground for the rich and a sought-after destination for retirees.

Once dominated by sleepy fishing villages, it’s undergoing a rapid transformation, with new marinas for luxury yachts, five-star resorts and duty-free shopping.

After pro-democracy protests engulfed Hong Kong, Beijing has embarked on an ambitious campaign to draw tourists and foreign companies to Hainan. But not everyone is putting out the welcome mat. Fishers fear they’ll lose their livelihoods amid the push for development. 101 East travels to Hainan to investigate.