Real Estate

Tech sector boosting property prices in Beijing, Shanghai: Soho China CEO

Soho China: It's a confusing time for Chinese property

Real-estate developer Soho China's Chief Executive Zhang Xin is as uncertain about the country's property market as the next person, but she is keeping her money on Beijing and Shanghai as tech companies boost real estate demand in these cities.

"We see all these exciting young entrepreneurs starting up companies in the IT, internet sectors. They are the new tenants coming in not just renting a little space but renting a lot of space - floors and floors," Zhang told CNBC on the sidelines of a JP Morgan conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Zhang Xin, billionaire and chief executive officer of Soho China Ltd., poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

"We continue to see that it's Beijing and Shanghai that drive the whole growth in commercial real estate. The start-up companies...are not going to tier three, four cities. They stay in the big cities, especially in Beijing (which) is emerging as an internet center."

The location of major universities in Beijing and a rash of foreign-educated Chinese returnees stationed in Beijing are keeping the tech sector fresh, she added.

While the Chinese property giant is cautious on buying property due to a lack of clarity on the macroeconomic outlook, Zhang is betting on its Soho 3Q shared office space sector that was launched last February.

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