January 25, 2018 |  
The project brings Edition's luxury experience home
[caption id="attachment_25054" align="aligncenter" width="569"] The pool area at the West Hollywood Edition, opening this year.
Rendering: DBOX[/caption] Ever stayed in a hotel and thought, I wish I could just move in? Well, this newly announced Los Angeles project may be your best chance. Ian Schrager, the legendary hotelier behind the likes of the Gramercy Park Hotel, the buzzy new Public in New York, and the über-luxe Edition—who's often credited with inventing the concept of the now omnipresent boutique hotel—is turning to residences for his newest project. In collaboration with New Valley, Witkoff, developers of Schrager's upcoming West Hollywood Edition hotel, will also develop the West Hollywood Edition Residences, a suite of homes in the style of the popular hotels opening in time with the hotel later this year. Luckily for interested aesthetes, Witkoff has doubled down on design talent, enlisting John Pawson (the design eye behind the Gramercy Park Hotel) to create the interiors of the two-to-four-bedroom homes. [caption id="attachment_25055" align="aligncenter" width="554"] The entrance to the Edition residences.
Rendering: DBOX[/caption] "The West Hollywood Edition represents the beginning of an evolution for this neighborhood," developer Alex Witkoff tells AD PRO. "It brings a measure of restrained elegance, design excellence, and craft to the heart of West Hollywood." [caption id="attachment_25056" align="aligncenter" width="533"] The residence lobby, featuring a slatted teak doorway conceived by John Pawson.
Rendering: DBOX[/caption] For his part, Pawson looked to the surrounding neighborhood and the larger city for inspiration in the design, which features lots of open spaces, highlighting sweeping views that are framed in modern, textural materials like concrete and teak. "Understanding the grain of a place is incredibly important to the way I work," explains the designer. "Sunset Strip is charged with energy and atmosphere—it has a unique visual character and culture that is constantly evolving. The location of the new Edition is particularly interesting territory because it sits at the transition between the grittiness of the Strip and softer residential areas. I wanted to create architecture with expressly permeable boundaries—to communicate the idea that this is not simply a place for guests to stay but an exciting gathering place for the broader neighborhood." [caption id="attachment_25057" align="aligncenter" width="532"] The living rooms feature sweeping views of Los Angeles.
Rendering: DBOX[/caption] Pawson's influence goes micro, too: He designed everything from the building's custom siding to the hardware on the doors. Appliances by Miele and bath features like a soaking tub, steam shower, and travertine flooring translate the luxury of Schrager's hotel properties to a home setting. [caption id="attachment_25058" align="aligncenter" width="559"] A residence terrace.
Rendering: DBOX[/caption] Wikoff hopes to attract a more cultured buyer, adding to the usual list of amenities like concierge services and fitness and spa facilities a custom large-scale installation by Sterling Ruby. "We believe the residents we seek care about art, architecture, and culture," the developer says. "They are discerning and worldly and want homes that offer a respite from a busy life. With that in mind, we have crafted a building that should create a home they are eager to return to yet in the heart of L.A." Or as Pawson quite simply puts it: "For me, it’s all about creating an authentic sense of home, where people also feel connected with a strong sense of place."    

Last year, the DHS accelerated its rule making schedule to adopt proposed new regulations on the EB-5 regional center program in February of 2018. The new EB-5 regulations increase minimum investment amounts, centralize TEA designations at DHS and allow for certain EB-5 petitioners to retain their original priority date should they decide to re-file their EB-5 petition.

When an agency publishes a final rule, the rule is generally effective no less than thirty days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. If the rule is a “significant” or “major” rule, as defined by law, then the rule is required to have a 60-day delayed effective date. A “significant rule”, as defined by Executive Order 12866, is any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may “have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities.”

Based on the content of the new EB-5 regulation, it is likely that there will be a 60-day grace period if the final EB-5 regulation is actually published in February before the final regulation will take effect. This grace period may provide Congress with additional time to reach consensus on future reforms to the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

 
As negotiations on Capitol Hill continue to reach agreement on a bill to fund operations of the U.S. federal government, many wonder whether U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will shut down. USCIS continues to operate even if the other agencies of the U.S. federal government experience a shut-down. This situation occurs because USCIS is a fee-funded agency, meaning that the fees for its operations arise primarily from fees collected from applicants. 

Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2018: As negotiations on Capitol Hill continue to reach agreement on a bill to fund operations of the U.S. federal government, employers and immigrants are frequently anxious about whether U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will also shut-down.

The short answer to this concern is “no”, USCIS continues to operate even if the other agencies of the U.S. federal government experience a shut-down. This quirky situation occurs because USCIS is a fee-funded agency, meaning that the fees for its operations arise primarily from fees collected from applicants. Additionally, many functions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection) are also considered essential government services that are required to remain operational even if there is a shut-down. So, in the past, the USCIS has actually remained open for business during a government shut-down. The U.S. Department of Labor, however, is not so lucky: it has to shutter operations for lack of funding.

Readers from abroad may ask themselves: “How many times has the U.S. federal government shut down because of disagreement over funding?”. The answer to this question would require a much longer response than available in this report.

Negotiations continue with most observers expecting an agreement to keep the U.S. federal government operating through mid-February or mid-March of 2018.

I.A. Donoso & Associates, LLC, is a law firm based in Washington, D.C., and is recognized as a leading immigration law firm with recognized expertise in visas for EB-5 investors, professionals and academics.

New York City's expanded ferry service has become a huge hit and is having a big impact on development and pricing in the area. Construction is booming around the new ferry stops. In just 6 months since the addition of the new ferry stops, ridership has now reached 2.5 million, 700,000 more than the city anticipated. Halletts Point, a U.S. Immigration Fund project, is just a five minute walk from the new Astoria ferry stop and is bringing 2,000 new rental apartments to the area. The ferry service is said to be transforming the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront.   January 19, 2018 | BY ALANNA SCHUBACH [caption id="attachment_24700" align="aligncenter" width="668"] Proximity to the ferry is becoming a draw for renters and buyers. Credit: Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr[/caption]
The city's expanded ferry service seems to be a big hit: In the first six months since adding new boats to the fleet, as well as new stops at Astoria, Roosevelt Island, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, and Rockaway, ridership reached 2.5 million—700,000 more than the city anticipated.
It's perhaps not so surprising when you consider the increasing decrepitude of the subways, where ridership has fallen for the first time in years. The ferries now only cost $2.75, the same as a subway ride, which also probably has something to do with it. Ferry trips can also be downright pleasant, particularly in good weather, offering sweeping city views, a distinct lack of signal malfunctions, and the option of buying booze on board. "People love it. They can disconnect for a bit," says Rachel Bakhchi, an agent with Siderow Residential Group. "It's not like being jammed in the subway."
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="696"] The listing for this $1.095 million one-bedroom Williamsburg condo notes that the East River ferry is "right outside your door." Credit: StreetEasy[/caption]
 
The draw of the ferry
The ferries can get crowded during rush hour (and on summer weekends, along the Rockaway route), but some New Yorkers seem to find commuting by boat relaxing enough to serve as a real alternative to subways and buses. Ian Slater, a broker with Compass, recalls one client who had been living in Williamsburg and traveling to Midtown for work, who initially was eager to get away from North Brooklyn and her "hellish" L train commute. "She started taking the new ferry and said it felt like she was on a European vacation daily— a welcome break from the bustle, and it calmed her," he says. "We ended up settling on something in Greenpoint, where we weren’t even initially looking. She’s happier, has more space, and has a yard." The ferry is enticing buyers who might not otherwise have been willing to leave Manhattan for Brooklyn, says Jodi Stasse, senior managing director of new developments for Citi Habitats and Corcoran Sunshine, who works at The Greenpoint and the American Copper developments. "People are really looking at how they can connect throughout the city," she says. "There's a decent amount of people purchasing who are coming from Manhattan, and the connection back to Manhattan on that ferry is an important option for them. Knowing they have that really has weighed into their buying." It works just as much in reverse, she adds. "With the amount of growth Brooklyn has had, a lot more people are living in Manhattan and working in Brooklyn than ever before," she says. "I think it does open up the connectivity and make it a lot easier to bring Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn together." The ferry is attracting buyers and renters to parts of Manhattan along the Hudson River, too, though the service there isn't new. NY Waterway runs ferry routes from 39th Street and 12th Avenue to a number of stops in New Jersey. Prices vary depending on the destination. In Midtown west of Ninth Avenue, Bakhchi says, "[Buyers] go for the amenities and the ferry, because a lot of them work in New Jersey. The developers building Hudson Yards definitely know what they're doing."
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="696"] The listing for this one-bedroom rental near the Astoria waterfront, asking $2,100 a month, notes that the ferry is a few blocks away, and even includes a photo of one of the fleet. Credit: StreetEasy[/caption]
 
Rising prices and new development near the ferry
The ferry's popularity seems to be having an impact on development and pricing. Last month, the New York Times explored how ferry service is transforming the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront, and found that around the new stops, construction is booming. Halletts Point, for instance, will bring 2,000 new rental apartments to Astoria. The Greenpoint, a 40-story luxury condo tower, is going up right by the dock at the end of India Street. And there are more ferry stops to come. The Lower East Side, the Upper East Side, and Soundview in the Bronx will debut this summer. "You see developers already positioned around those locations," Stasse says. "These locations are drawing the attention of different people now, and developers are thinking about providing more full service and more of the high end than would have been considered without the additional ferry service." Yes, the ferry may also be delivering something less exciting to New Yorkers: A higher cost of living. A StreetEasy study found that rents in neighborhoods served by the ferry increased at a higher rate than others last year. Within a 10-minute walk of the ferry stop in Astoria, for instance, rents went up by 1.5 percent, and around the docks at Greenpoint and Atlantic avenues, almost 2 percent.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="696"] Proximity to the East River Ferry "makes this location very desirable," per the listing for this two-bedroom Greenpoint condo asking $1.995 million. Credit: Nest Seekers International[/caption]
 
In Red Hook and Roosevelt Island, meanwhile, rent hasn't jumped as much, possibly because of lower turnover and more limited housing stock, the StreetEasy study concluded. A spokeswoman for the site said it's too early to judge the effects of new ferry docks on sales prices. As a rule of thumb, though, it's reasonable to expect that they'll boost property values, according to Jonathan Miller, an appraiser with the firm Miller Samuel. "As NYC becomes more homogenized, more dense, it is clear that other forms of commuting have become more recognized as contributing to value," Miller says. "Ferries as critical transpiration routes have also been embedded in value, but with the proliferation of more service, it seems more obvious now." It can't hurt that the MTA commuting experience is so rough. "They've done a good job promoting the new boats and new service as not a last resort of transportation, but as a primary way of getting around the city," Stasse says. "The ferry is such a better experience than the damn subway."      
Hudson Companies plans to bring 134 condominium units to market at its One Clinton Street development with a target offering price of $478 million. The company demolished the Brooklyn Heights Library at the site last spring and is building a 36-story tower in its place that will include a new library at the base.

By: Will Parker | January 17, 2018

The developer demolished the Brooklyn Heights Library last year.
[caption id="attachment_24650" align="aligncenter" width="600"] David Kramer and a rendering of 1 Clinton Street (Credit: Marvel Architects)[/caption]

Hudson Companies plans to bring 134 condominium units to market at its 1 Clinton Street development with a total target offering price of $477.7 million, an offering plan filed with the New York state Attorney General’s office shows.

The company demolished the Brooklyn Heights Library at the site last spring and is building a 36-story tower in its place that will include a new library at the base. City Council allowed Hudson to buy the library building for $52 million in 2015. The project will also include 114 units of off-site affordable housing.

The range of condo prices at 1 Clinton was not immediately clear, but they will average out to $3.6 million a piece. Only 4 percent of Brooklyn’s new development condo inventory costs more than $3 million, according to recent Brooklyn data from Miller Samuel.

Hudson’s David Kramer declined to comment.

Community groups initially protested the city’s sale of the land to Hudson and unions decried Kramer’s refusal to agree to only use union labor. “I didn’t feel it,” Kramer said, when asked about the opposition to the project by the Commercial Observer in 2015.

In 2016, Hudson was looking to raise $110 million for the building through the EB-5 program. Last year, it closed on a $280 million construction loan from Starwood Property Trust and Related Fund Management.

Earlier this month, Hudson secured $335 million in loans for its La Central megaproject in the Bronx.

Congress and the White House have deadlocked on legislative changes to many immigration programs, including the EB-5 Regional Center program. However, the Department of Homeland...

From picnic baskets for park trips to a six-figure chauffeured car, here are the most ridiculous perks offered this year
By Ameena Walker  Dec 18, 2017 [caption id="attachment_24604" align="aligncenter" width="709"] Photo Credit- March.[/caption] New York City’s real estate market has seen its share of highs and lows over the course of 2017, but one thing hasn’t changed: the amenities offered at new luxury developments continue to get more and more ostentatious. Over the years, we’ve seen everything thing from concierge jet service to luxury yacht service; and while this year’s crop of developments didn’t include anything quite that over-the-top, we did see high-end experiences, chauffeur service, and a fair number of fancy pools. Here now, nine of the most exorbitant amenities offered to residents this year:
 Sky’s chauffeured Volvo
Penthouse residents of the Moinian Group’s enormous Sky development get access to a $105,000 chauffeured Volvo XC90 Excellence. The Sky Volvo features massage chairs with heating and cooling capabilities, crystal champagne flutes, and beverage warmers/coolers. This rarefied perk is only available between 4 and 9 p.m. and only travels between West 14th and 72nd streets between Sixth and Twelfth avenues.
Circa Central Park’s curated kids amenities
FXFOWLE’s semicircular condo building, Circa Central Park just might be home to some of Harlem’s showiest amenities. The Artimus Construction-developed building offers residents of its 38 pricey condos fully equipped picnic baskets that you can use during a trip to Central Park, remote controlled boats, kids scooters, and a study room (with MacBooks) for kids.
ARC’s 70-foot saltwater pool
Few buildings in Queens are as amenity-packed as Lightstone Group’s 10-story building, ARC, in Long Island City. The crowning jewel here is the rooftop’s 70-foot-long saltwater pool, accompanied by barbecues and bocce courts. Other highlights include a game room with vintage arcade consoles, a golf simulator, and a “dedicated outdoor exercise space.”
Waterline Square’s “club” with skate park
When starchitects Richard Meier, Kohn Pedersen Fox and Rafael Viñoly teamed up to design the trio of buildings known as Waterline Square, it was a sure thing that it would be anything but basic. Aside from boasting a pet spa and a dog training studio, there’s a shared amenity space, known as the Waterline Club, that comes equipped with an indoor tennis court, 30-foot rock climbing wall, swimming pool, an art and music studio, golf simulator, basketball court, indoor skate-park, indoor soccer field, “gardening studios,” and mini bowling alley. Fancy.
Urby Jersey City flower-arranging workshops
After last year’s debut of Urby in Stapleton, Staten Island, we’ve come to know a bit of what to expect from this community-focused brand. Urby Jersey City offers familiar amenities like a community coffee shop and cooking classes, but it also has a few new, slightly ridiculous perks—namely the the Urby Creative Lab, a corner one-bedroom that’s staged as a space for small workshops like flower arranging and Feng Shui.
Henry Hall’s jam room
The site that’s now home to Henry Hall, a high-end rental developed by Imperial Companies and designed by Ismael Leyva and BKSK Architects, was once where Legacy Records, a recording studio, once stood. To “pay homage” to that bit of history, the developers kitted out the building with a jam room for residents, with instruments and a karaoke set-up. That’s in addition to other over-the-top amenities like a roof deck, 24-hour concierge, a fitness center with “customized fitness programs,” and more.
555Ten’s bowling alley and pet spa
When it comes to amenities, Extell has earned a reputation for being the most extra, so it’s no surprise that its massive Midtown rental, 555Ten, is packed with over-the-top perks. Some are fairly standard—a rooftop pool and lounge, a sun deck, a high-end fitness center, a children’s playroom, and a game room. Others are a little more over-the-top: there’s a two-lane bowling alley as well as the pet spa/veterinary clinic run by Throw Me a Bone (get it?!).
 125 Greenwich’s pool with panoramic views
The amenity spaces in this Rafael Viñoly-designed skyscraper are being brought to life by superyacht designers March & White, so of course they’re over the top. The so-called “wellness amenities” at 125 Greenwich Street include a relaxation lounge, a spa, and a pool with a panoramic view of lower Manhattan. Other perks include a screening room, a private dining room, and a lounge.
300 Ashland’s “Apartment Stories”
Two Trees Management is experimenting with a slightly different approach to the amenity-sphere and looking to promote “experiences” as the hot new thing. The developer launched a program called “Apartment Stories” where “influencers” (like Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson) promote their buildings by hosting special experiences exclusively for residents. (The building also opened its expansive outdoor plaza this year, but that’s a little less exclusive.)    
The hotels, conference spaces, restaurants, and cultural spaces slated to open in Los Angeles for events and entertaining this year.
By Claire Hoffman January 8, 2018 LOS ANGELES- Looking for a new venue for your next event? Here are the most anticipated Los Angeles restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms slated to open in 2018. These new and renovated Los Angeles venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and more.
  1. The long-anticipated NoMad Los Angeles is slated to open in late January. Located in the historic Giannini Place building downtown, the 241-room hotel is designed by Jacques Garcia and features the first west coast restaurant from chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara (the team behind the NoMad New York City and the restaurant Eleven Madison Park). The property offers 10,000 square feet of event space, including a 5,178-square-foot rooftop that holds 450, a 2,375-square-foot mezzanine restaurant that seats 100 or holds 275 for receptions, and a suite that holds 30. There are also two private dining rooms, a coffee bar, and more.
  2. The first Autograph Collection hotel in Los Angeles will open on February 21 on 26 acres in the former Marriott Manhattan Beach space. The 392-room Westdrift Manhattan Beach boasts more than 35,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor event space, including 18 meeting rooms, a ballroom, and three additional venues for weddings and corporate events. There is also a restaurant with cuisine by chef Octavio Sabado, a fitness center, and a nine-hole golf course.
  3. Restauranteur David Chang is expected to expand his Momofuku empire to downtown Los Angeles in early 2018. Majordomo will be located in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse space on the outskirts of Chinatown, and is expected to focus on family-style portions of meat and produce. A Los Angeles location of Milk Bar, Momofuku’s dessert shop offshoot, is also expected to open in 2018; no location has been announced.
  4. After 42 years in New York, the Insitute of Culinary Educationis expected to open a location in Los Angeles in early 2018. Taking over the Pasadena facility formerly occupied by Le Cordon Bleu, the venue will offer career-training programs and a hospitality management program. Owners also hope to add a chocolate lab, a culinary technology lab, and recreational classes and special culinary events. ICE will be available for corporate entertaining and team building, as well as social events and dinners.
  5. Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse plans to open its first Los Angeles location in 2018. Located at the Bloc—a 1.8-million-square-foot mixed-use development downtown—the theater will have 12 screens and seat 560 people total for screenings and events. In-theater dining and an adjoining bar will offer locally sourced food and drinks.
  6. Yardbird Southern Tableis slated to open in the Beverly Center in the spring. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant by restaurateur John Kunkel will feature a modern take on Southern cuisine, with shared plates, farm-fresh ingredients, and plenty of fried chicken. Yardbird also has locations in Miami Beach, Las Vegas, and Singapore.
  7. Proper Hotels plans to open Proper DTLAthis summer in the former Y.W.C.A building on the Historic Broadway Corridor downtown. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, the 148-room hotel will feature three restaurants, a rooftop pool and lounge, and unique suites and public areas such as a library with original ceiling frescos and a basketball court-turned-screening room. A Santa Monica location of the hotel chain is scheduled to open in early 2019.
  8. The first west coast property under Marriott International and Ian Schrager’s Edition brand is slated to open on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in October. The 190-room Edition West Hollywood is being developed by the Witkoff Group and New Valley, and will have 20 luxury residences, 5,200 square feet of meeting space, a signature restaurant and nightclub, and a rooftop pool.
  9. Josh Skenes—the founder of Saison, a San Francisco restaurant with three Michelin stars—plans to open a casual concept in the Beverly Center in the fall. Angler will have an emphasis on seafood and a dining room with 100 seats, maritime decor, a full bar, lounge areas, and a wine cellar. Skenes is partnering with Mark Bright and investor group Terra Ventures to form Saison Hospitality Group, which will manage the project.
  10. Oceanwide Plaza, a mixed-use project being built adjacent to the Staples Center and L.A. Live downtown, is slated to open Los Angeles’s first Park Hyatt in December. The 184-room luxury hotel, designed by Studio Munge, will have 34 suites, meeting and event space, and a spa and wellness facility.
January 3 | By Chidanand Rajghattal WASHINGTON: India may be looking at upwards of 500,000 of its "skilled" work force returning home from America if a proposal by the Trump administration not to extend H-1B visa of those waiting for permanent residency (Green Card) is implemented.   The Department of Homeland Security is said to be considering new regulations that would prevent H-1B visa extensions as part of President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" initiative promised during the 2016 campaign. Under current law, foreign guest workers are allowed one three-year extension of the H-1B visa of three-year validity. If at the end of those six years the guest worker has a pending Green Card (Permanent Residency) application, then there is an almost indefinite extension of the H-1B visa till such time the applicant's Green Card processing is completed. Because there is such a huge backlog of Green Card applicants, particularly for countries such as India and China, hundreds of thousands of workers from these countries spend 10-12 years in what is mirthlessly called H-1B hell or limbo. The small 'comfort' they currently have is they can remain in the US while the Green Card is being processed. The Trump administration is considering ending that concession. If an H-1B visa holder has applied for a Green Card at the end of his six-years then he or she will have to exit the United States till the processing is complete. Technically, the Trump administration is correct and well within the law to amend the rules because the H-1B was meant to address skilled worker shortage in the US, and not intended to become a route for immigration. But over the years, hundreds of thousands of skilled foreign workers, particularly Indians and Chinese have used the H-1B route to first become permanent residents (Green Card holders) and then become citizens. They include some of the most storied names in the US tech industry, including Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai, India-born head honchos of Microsoft and Google respectively, and because they added such immense value to the US tech industry, the whole visa category has generally been looked at favorable by both the tech industry and previous administrations. However, in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential elections, nativist American tech workers who felt short-changed by the influx of foreign workers managed to convince the Trump campaign that there is no shortage of American tech workers and the H-1B inflow was part of the US tech industry's tactics to keep wages low. Although, successive administrations have fiddled with the rules to make it difficult for US companies to hire foreign workers, including hiking processing fees and minimum salaries, demand for H-1B remains unabated because the US industry says America does not produce enough STEM graduates with requisite skill sets. Changes to the current H-1B rules will affect India more than any other country. More than 50 per cent of the 85,000 H-1B visas that are currently being issued annually goes to Indian workers, which means there are an estimated 255,000 Indians with H-1B visas in the last six years alone. Tens of thousands more H-1B visa holders going back more than a decade are already awaiting Green Card processing. Of course, it is not necessary that all H-1B visa recipients are immigration aspirants or are having their Green Cards processed. Many simply go there for short term work or return after their stint. This is not the first blow dealt by the Trump administration to foreign worker inflow as part of its effort to keep US jobs for Americans. IT has already announced that it plans to roll back the H-4 EAD introduced during the Obama presidency that allowed spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the US subject to certain conditions. It is also possible that the visa extension roll back is never implemented. It is currently at a proposal stage and there are powerful arguments against implementing it. Chief among them is that the young, foreign-born skilled workforce pays into the US tax system and enhances the country's economy. Many tech savants have warned that if the US keeps them out, then it will accrue to the benefit of their home countries; they will simply go back and start Facebooks and Ubers, something US tech mavens have warned is already happening in China.