Amid Recovery Push, Street Vendors Make a Comeback Across China

Amid Recovery Push, Street Vendors Make a Comeback Across China


Once widely regulated, local governments are now embracing micro businesses to revitalize the economy and boost jobs.

Stuck in legal limbo for years, China’s street vending economy is finally making a comeback. Amid a countrywide economic recovery push after the pandemic, major cities are lifting their strict regulations on street vending, giving vendors a chance to operate in designated areas and boosting local consumption. 

From the southern city of Shenzhen to Shanghai and Hangzhou, several major cities have relaxed restrictions on streetside businesses, domestic outlet Jiemian reported Friday. The move is seen as a bid to spur economic recovery by increasing local consumption.

According to revised guidelines issued April 28, Shenzhen scrapped its blanket ban and announced that street vendors could operate in designated areas. The new rules, effective from Sept. 1, allow brick-and-mortar store owners to run stalls outside their shops, which until now were prohibited. 

Shenzhen’s move comes just two months after Shanghai — which scrapped its 20-year ban on street vendors last year — drafted a detailed plan for stall businesses. Earlier in March, similar plans were rolled out in the eastern city of Hangzhou, where officials vowed to strengthen the support to shop owners in commercial areas, making it easier to conduct business outside stores. 

Guo Xinmei, a professor of economics at Beijing Technology and Business University, told Jiemian that the changes would help drive up consumption and also give individuals with business operation licenses more employment opportunities.  

“It could form a virtuous circle as people gaining income from their business will increase consumption, which stimulates the supply side,” Guo was quoted as saying. 

Though widely prevalent, street stalls have long been prohibited by local regulations as they are seen as an eyesore by authorities. As a result, regular inspections were often carried out in an effort to stamp out such stalls and improve the urban image.

But, in 2020, former Premier Li Keqiang referred to micro businesses as the “lifeblood” of the country, signaling a drastic shift in policy. Since then, the sector has seen a remarkable resurgence, particularly among China’s youth who view it as a way to cope with their anxieties and escape the pressures of traditional work culture.

Editor: Apurva.  
(Header image: Street vendors at a night market in Chongqing, May 2, 2023. VCG)

Download the new Sixth Tone app at the App Store or Google Play
APK file for Android:
(Copy URL and open in browser)


精选Quant岗位 | SIG、Jane Street、Arrowstreet Capital l等公司持续热招!看电视连续剧《立功·东北旧事》Beyond Saving: In China, Young Shoppers Are Locked Out of LuxuryChinese Boss’ Call to Work Weekends Sparks Debate on OvertimeBordering on Recovery: Life on China’s Russian FrontierHow Women Are Reshaping China’s Sex Toys Industry, Literally马未都:我的情人在我的前半生中很重要,给了我无尽的快乐Chinese Netizens Celebrate ‘WeChat Overtime’ Court RulingTipping Livestreamers ‘Out of Control’: China State BroadcasterTo Boost Revenue, Bilibili Shifts Focus From Views to Watch TimeBacklash Forces Two Firms to Reverse Sichuan University BoycottUs and STEM: The Collective Paving The Way for Women in TechChina’s ‘Special Forces’ Savers Travel Far for Higher InterestHoliday Hustle: Most Resent Trading Weekends for Time OffA Dozen Women Accuse Another Literary Figure of HarassmentMajority of Parents Stressed Over Children’s Education: Survey巴哈马大马镫礁(Great Stirrup Cay),海边风景Why China’s Truckers See Power in Numbers送歌给赫本~祝贺二进宫!?Make believe its your first time~~ 哇,歌名好贴切~~哈~~Docker容器超全详解,别再说不会用Docker了!现在不懂K8s/Docker真的不行了!一文吃透K8s/Docker架构与核心技术 | 极客时间Light and ShadowBrokerage Apps Allowing Overseas Trading Pulled From App StoresAfter 3 Years of Lockdowns, a Chinese City Struggles to RebuildHainan Airlines To Ground ‘Overweight’ Cabin Crew, Sparks OutcryMedical English for ChinaAgustín Hernández:中美洲建筑背景下的未来主义巨构紫坛除了BELE儿子拿到过Jane Street Intern, 还有人拿到过吗?【Career Forum|4.1】Fight the Career Winter in the Tech Industry!Cut Children’s Access to Vulgar Memes: State Media Commentary孙海英回应“海外捡垃圾为生”,言语让人心寒,他已不配演石光荣Cell Discovery | 严欢课题组发表关于MERS-CoV相关病毒的宿主范围与跨种传播机制的最新研究成果Cross-border M&A crucial for APAC CP companies’ growthThe Shanghai Museum Keeping Memories Of Jewish Refugees AliveInt’l Luxury Brands Embrace E-Commerce to Attract Chinese Buyers为什么说潘金莲并不放荡?其实从三个细节可以看出Lenovo yoga(i5-8250u/8gran/256gssd/touchscreen) slightly crack oMacBook Pro 13in 2018 A1989 keep rebooting ( screen/battery/othe经济学人:Younger Americans are friendlier to ChinaChildren’s Slime Toys Under Scrutiny Over Toxic Chemical
Redian新闻 · 海外热点 · 尽在指尖