Tofu Dreg Project: China’s Building Crisis

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Fragile steel bars/Tofu-dreg project in China/Shaky building/Collapsing buildings/Poor quality’ by China Insights

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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China’s housing construction raises concerns with quality, safety issues, and “tofu dreg projects,” causing incidents like leaks, collapses, casualties, road and wall damages, and shaking.

Key Insights

  • Concerns about the poor quality of housing construction in China
  • Reference to buildings with poor quality and safety issues as "tofu dreg projects"
  • Examples of incidents:
  • 1. Newly built real estate development leaking water
  • 2. Ceiling collapse in the city's municipal administration service center
  • 3. Building collapse with unknown casualties
  • 4. Road collapse after a rainstorm
  • 5. Exterior wall blown down by high winds in a community
  • 6. Shaking of SEG Tower for three consecutive days
  • Rapid construction speed of buildings raising concerns
  • Government officials criticized for lack of responsibility
  • Reference to "tofu dreg projects" being a known characteristic of China

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This is the steel bar used in the construction of a building in China. Its fragility is disturbing.

In China, it’s everyone’s dream to own their own home. China’s real estate industry is arguably the largest in the world. The majority of Chinese people’s savings are invested in their homes. But the quality of China’s housing construction has always been a concern for buyers and residents alike.

The Chinese refer to buildings that are of poor quality or even have serious safety problems as “tofu dreg” projects.

This is a coastal city in southeastern China. In June 2021, a netizen uploaded a video of a newly built real estate development leaking water after the delivery.

This is an inland city in the east of China. In the lobby of the city’s municipal administration service center, the ceiling on the first floor collapsed.

This city is located in southern China. On June 19, a 7-story building collapsed in its entirety, with unknown casualties. The building fell from the top right to the bottom left, crushing part of the road. The framed structure measured 6 to 7 spans horizontally, with columns completely crushed. Will the government officials be held responsible for the incident? The netizens have sarcastically concluded that the victims do not even count as a number. The building fell to pieces, and there were not even a few steel bars in sight. They must have been stolen by foreign forces.

This city is located in central China. After a rainstorm, a large section of the road collapsed. The feedback from Chinese netizens is, “This is the south of China, a roadway collapsed.” The rear wheel of a heavy green car is caught on the edge of a big hole, and a white vehicle almost falls into the hole.

This is another city in southern China. High winds blew down the exterior wall of a community. People questioned the quality of the exterior wall.

From May 18 to 20, a 71-story building in Shenzhen, the SEG Tower, shook for three consecutive days. People inside the building ran out of the building in panic. There was no earthquake in Shenzhen on that day, and the wind speed was only 3-4 at the time of the incident. SEG Tower once set a record as Shenzhen Speed by building a floor every 2.7 days. It later became a landmark building in Shenzhen. The rapid construction speed of the building has made people worried. The shaking of the building for three consecutive days has earned the SEG Tower the nickname “Shaking Tower.”

After residents reported problems with their homes, a government official visited the site. He was stuck in the elevator for about 20-30 minutes because the elevator broke down. Two months ago, the developer delivered the newly completed building to its home buyers, and the homeowners found severe quality problems with the building.

These are just some of the tofu dreg projects in China so far this year. The term “tofu dreg” was first coined by former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji after he inspected the collapse of floodwalls in a southern city in 1998. The Premier angrily criticized it as a tofu dreg project when asked about the cause of the failure. Since then, the term “tofu dreg” construction has appeared frequently in all major Chinese media and has gradually become well-known.

More than two decades later, the collapse of tofu dreg projects in China has not disappeared or decreased. Instead, it has become more frequent. It keeps repeating itself and eventually becomes a characteristic of China that is known worldwide.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Fragile steel bars/Tofu-dreg project in China/Shaky building/Collapsing buildings/Poor quality’ by China Insights