On August 16, at the opening ceremony of the Real Estate Expo of Shimen District, Changde City, Hunan Province, Deng Bibo, secretary of the Shimen District Party Committee called on people to buy as many houses as possible, that is, “If you already bought one property, then buy a second one. If you already bought the second one, then buy a third one. If you’ve bought the third one, buy the fourth one.” The speech by Deng attracted comments from the online community.

Some mainland netizens pointed out to the secretary that he was talking about a house not a bunch of vegetables.

According to Jimu News, at the expo opening ceremony, the secretary said he hoped the leadership would take the lead in buying properties. 

On July 28, Shimen officials issued 16 policies to stimulate the real estate market, including implementing housing subsidies. According to statistics from a third-party platform, in the past month, the average new house price in the Shimen district was about 4,650 yuan (about $685), and the average resale was about 5,000 yuan (about $736). There are more than 20 real estate projects selling properties.

NetEase said that the Secretary’s speech not only made the officials laugh but also made the people in the audience laugh out loud.

The call to buy houses by Deng sparked heated discussions among mainland netizens.

On Zhihu, many netizens mocked: “The Secretary should take the lead in buying houses. He must be very rich. Do you guys agree with me?

Some netizens demanded a strict investigation into the financial resources of Hunan officials, saying that their county is poor and they wanted to know where they could find the money to buy a house.

A spokesman for some netizens asked: “Wow, the district party secretary is really rich? Buying three to four houses, is the salary enough to spend? Live in a different house every day, huh?”

One netizen complained that after three years of the pandemic, businesses had suffered terrible losses, the credit card for online business loans had not been paid, and he had to sell the only house he had left to pay the debt. He wanted to know what to do.

Some netizens did a calculation: “The permanent population is 550,000, there are 10,000 houses for sale. … So for a family of 5, everyone in the district has to buy a house to liquidate inventory. Secretary, this is a house! It needs to be repaired after purchase, not a bunch of vegetables in the market!”

According to public information, Shimen district, Changde city, Hunan province, is a district with 16 ethnic minorities as of November 1, 2020. The resident population is 559,457 and the annual disposable income per capita of urban and rural residents in the district is 15,091 yuan (over $2200).

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