Night markets roar back in financial hub
Visitors try food and beverage at the Shanghai Global Gourmet Festival on May 30. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]
Nightlife markets are making a comeback in Shanghai.
Mobile food carts and individual booths are jammed with pedestrians wolfing down barbecues, drinking tap beer, buying flowers, and more.
The resurgence of street vendors is mainly due to a cautious promotion of roadside trade in China to boost consumption and in part tackle COVID-19-induced unemployment.
The municipal government of Shanghai, for instance, kicked off the inaugural Shanghai Night Life Festival that runs through the majority of June. The city issued directives welcoming small business owners to peddle their products in the form of street stalls.
The initiative will see some 180 special activities which include the Shanghai Bar Festival, Late Night Food Hall Festival, Late Night Bookstore Festival, Sleepless Shopping Night and Night Shanghai LIVE Show.
They fall under the umbrella of the May 5 Shopping Festival, a two-month long campaign aimed at spurring spending by people cooped up in their homes during the pandemic.
During the first weekend of June, some 47,000 visitors embraced a popular street night event on Anyi Road in downtown Shanghai, a nearly 25 percent jump from its debut opening in October.
Huang Ning, deputy general manager of Kerry Properties Development (Shanghai) Co where the marketplace is located, was amazed at the scale and enthusiasm of its participants.
"It's stunning to see how people flock into the markets despite the unfavorable weather. Business resumption is happening much faster than I've expected," Huang said.