Tens of millions of homes lie vacant across China following the country’s credit-fuelled construction boom.
Taichung, Taiwan – Around a tiled square on the outskirts of the Chinese city of Nanjing, a cluster of apartment buildings rise like concrete columns towards a grey sky.
At first glance, the structures look like a testament to China’s awe-inspiring construction boom, which saw the country use more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the United States did throughout the entire 20th century.
But upon closer examination, the development is more like a scene out of a post-apocalyptic story than a symbol of grandeur.
There is no light in any of the buildings and most of them lack doors or windows.
An eerie silence lies over the compound, which is strewn with disassembled equipment and construction materials, broken occasionally only by the sound of a tarp flapping lazily about on top of a stack of iron rods.
There are no residents in sight.
“The workers stopped building in 2019,” Ji Zhang, a 61-year-old resident who asked to be referred to by a pseudonym, told Al Jazeera. “They say it was because the developer ran out of money.”