As part of a sweeping new set of restrictions that prohibits regional governments from green-lighting skyscrapers over 1,640 feet while limiting the construction of towers over 820 feet, the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is also putting the kibosh on the once-prevalent practice of erecting plagiaristic copycat structures and developments that, among other things, mimic the likeliness of Parisian landmarks and cutesy English market towns.


As the BBC reported, the ministry specifies that “plagiarizing, imitating, and copycatting” is now verboten in the construction of new buildings, while “large, foreign, and weird” designs will be limited. Avoiding copycat architecture will be particularly important in the construction of sports stadiums, exhibition centers, museums, and other large, culturally significant buildings per the government statement.

Moving forward, the Chinese government also aims to “strengthen cultural confidence, show a city’s features, exhibit the contemporary spirit, and display the Chinese characteristics” in new building projects.1

  • 1. In an article published in the state-run Global Times, the general consensus from the social media-using Chinese public on the governmental ban on “notorious copycat architectures” was reported to be mostly supportive. Per the Times, several users of China’s top social media site Weibo said that they had grown bored of the “fake, shoddy versions of foreign buildings in many third and fourth-tier Chinese cities.”