Unlicensed vendors are by now a common sight on most of the major shopping streets near Green Lake Park. Often pedestrian traffic is forced off the sidewalk and into the street by tanzhu (摊主) selling everything from phones to lingerie to puppies.
That may be changing. At 8:30pm last night 200 chengguan, aka urban management officers, and uniformed police moved into the Xiaoximen turtle back interchange (小西门龟背立交桥) and removed street vendors and confiscated all of their wares, Yunnan Net is reporting.
The roundup was the beginning of a "100-day crackdown on illegal street vendors in Kunming's Wuhua District," according to the report.
Police filled ten pick-up trucks with produce, animals and other impounded goods. Vendors were told they could pick up their non-perishable merchandise from chengguan offices after paying a fine and signing a sworn statement declaring they will no longer sell goods illegally on the street.
Confiscated food was taken to a nearby trash compactor and destroyed. Animals seized from vendors were sent to a local shelter.
Officers returned to Xiaoximen at 10pm and impounded another three truckloads of merchandise. Similar patrols were carried out on Nanping Jie (南屏街) and outside of Think UK (创意英国). Several barbecue stands were taken from street food sellers and crushed in garbage trucks.
Vendors offered little resistance largely because the chengguan had warned them previously that their goods would be seized. In the past, Kunming's chengguan have suffered from a serious public image problem due to fights with Kunming residents and charges of brutality.
There has been no announcement of what other areas will be targeted during future patrols. Similar nighttime markets have popped up around Kunming in the past few years. Perhaps the most notable is the Wenhua Xiang market that snarls traffic on a nightly basis and has been ongoing for almost two years.
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