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First night markets to be set up for Expo

THE Shanghai Commission of Commerce will set up local night markets during next year's World Expo to improve the city's nightlife and solve traffic problems caused by illegal vendors.

The commission plans to establish 50 featured streets for commerce, entertainment and leisure before the Expo, of which several would be picked as night markets.

"Those night markets would prolong their business hours and enrich the city's nightlife by providing entertainment, leisure, shopping and food," said Zhang Xinsheng, assistant director of the commission.

The first pilot streets include Yunnan Road S, Yuyuan Tourist Mart and Wujiang Road.

So far, Shanghai has no legal night markets.

Tu Haiming, a member of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, suggested last December the establishment of night markets to stop vendors crowding the footpaths and other densely populated places.

He said there are many successful night markets around the world, such as Miu-Kai in Hong Kong and Shihlin in Taiwan. They become calling cards for the cities. Shanghai can learn from them, Tu said.

"Night markets can provide a regular place for vendors and help enrich the city's nightlife," said Tu, a real estate developer.

If vendors do their business on footpaths and around Metro stations, they usually pollute the environment by dumping rubbish and yelling.

Vendors also come into conflict with urban management officers, whose duty is to drive them away, he added.

Most vendors want to move indoors, but they can't afford the rent because they make very little money, Tu said.

However, products sold by vendors are usually welcomed by local residents.

Tu visited some vendors around Hongkou Football Stadium and the Pengpu residential area in Zhabei District and found the vendors popular with shoppers.

"Most of street vendors I visited expressed their willingness to move into regular night fairs if the costs were reasonable," Tu said. "They are tired of dodging urban management officers."


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