The story appears on

Page A4

December 3, 2013

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Vendors hope to return but officials unmoved

Dozens of illegal vendors were waiting on the sidelines of a popular night market in Zhabei District in the hope that they would be able to return to business despite an intensified crackdown against them by district officials.

The vendors have taken a wait-and-see attitude, quietly gathering at the Pengpu night market in smoggy and cold  weather. Six police vehicles kept a watch on them, signaling that the government had no plans to ease off.

The vendors have long drawn the ire of residents, who welcomed the crackdown.

“They were very noisy and made the roads oily and dirty, and some bike riders and passers-by have fallen down because of the oily streets,” said a resident Guo, adding that she  once saw a senior citizen slip while walking on the road.

Another resident Xu Weicai said he has battled the noise and pollution for years. “I gave a thumbs-up to the crackdown and hope it would last.”

“I have been doing business here for more than 10 years, and the crackdown is like cutting into my livelihood,” said a woman surnamed Xu, who is in her 30s and provided manicure service. Xu lives close by and has a child to look after.

“It was surprising when we were told we could no longer do business here, but what else can we do,” said Xu, who built up a network of clients after running the business for years.

Another male vendor, also surnamed Xu, who ran a small mobile phone screen membrane business, said he tried to move away a bit further down the road, but was still driven away by police. He blamed the food vendors for the noise and pollution as the reasons for the crackdown.

“I will wait and see if there is any chances of doing business here again, but the management is very strict these days,” an upset Xu said.

But not everybody thought  that simply stamping out these businesses was a good idea.

“Clearing them out is too extreme, and government should work out a solution that allows these vendors to do business somewhere without affecting the normal life of residents and disturbing the traffic,” said a taxi driver surnamed Liu.

A white-collar worker Angela Lin said it was a good place to grab cheap food.

“It became a sort of a local culture and the clampdown means I have lost a place for affordable and delicious food,” she said.

Temporary road closure

Meanwhile, a conflict broke out between the vendors and urban management officials late on Sunday night, forcing the temporary closure of roads  in the area, reported.

Police and district government officials quickly arrived on the spot and insisted that  the campaign to clear the area of vendors will not be affected.

About 40 to 50 vendors who had been operating in the area for years gathered around the stationed vehicles of law enforcement authorities, demanding that they be allowed to run their business, a store owner on Linfen Road said.

A few vendors even walked to the center of the road, shouting and cursing, which attracted crowds of onlookers, blocking the intersection of Linfen and Pingshun roads.

The store owner said the vendors were taking a last chance to continue their business there.

Police cleared the area and normal traffic resumed after a while.

Gu Haibin, an official with the Zhabei District government, said they would continue with their efforts to clear the night market of vendors, hinting at  long-term efforts.

The night market came under the spotlight after eight bus lines were forced to make a detour because of traffic congestion on the road.

They have since returned to normal operations.

Law enforcement officials from various departments of the Zhabei District government have been targeting the illegal vendors at the market for a week.

The market, which is illegal, has almost become synonymous with the Pengpu locality. It has been there for about 10 years, and is nicknamed “the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall in Pengpu community.”



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend