After years of aggressively chasing away street market vendors across Kunming, China has reversed tack and is now actively promoting the 'night-time economy', providing licenses, space and even stalls for street vendors.
This policy was first announced end of 2019. The Covid-19 situation has brought financial hardship for many entrepreneurs and employees alike, but also a surge in flexible and online work — another reason to stimulate and support more informal business with flexible — or increased — working hours and vouchers for Chinese citizens to spend and keep the wheels of the economy turning. This has resulted not only in night markets but even in night fairs, in Tianjian and Shanghai.
Earlier this week, an announcement from the 9th plenary meeting of the 11th Kunming Municipal Party Committee announced plans to develop 10 night-time economy clusters across the city, providing stalls for entrepreneurs. The aim is to create 6000 new jobs. All eight districts of Kunming have drafted plans. Wuhua District has developed a number of 'characteristic streets' in Daguan, Nanqiang Street and other places, with 950 temporary stalls that provide employment for 1200 people. Other districts have similar plans.
At the same time, the city government will aim to curb the disorderly parking of the two million e-bikes that are currently roaming the city and occupying precious night-time economy real estate on the sidewalks.
What is your opinion of the reversal in policy? Do you welcome the return of the street stalls or are you sceptical? Let us know in the comments.
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