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Relocating the wholesale clothing markets in order to disperse the low-end population

March 5, 2015

konjaku: here is a concrete result of Beijing’s policy to drive out the low-end masses by relocating low-end businesses out of the city center, such as clothing wholesale markets that cluster around the Beijing Zoo area in Xicheng. The relocation started some time ago, but in 2015-01, the Tianbaocheng clothing wholesale market began to be dismantled.

1-12, a man walks alone through the desert basement floor of the Tianhaocheng.

127380551_14210708362851n That day, with the Tianhaocheng sign already dismantled, business formally closed. and the market relocated. This was the first clothing wholesale market to withdraw from the Beijing zoo area. The majority of merchants have already left, but there are some still waiting for the cash pledged to them for leaving. In the Beijing zoo area, for over 30 years clothing and sundries markets have flocked together to this area, called by the nickname “Dongpi”(from “zoo” and “wholesale.”). There are many places on the Beijing periphery which are competing to become the place where all these markets move. (Xinghua reporter Luo Xiaoguang)

Relocation of Beijing zoo area wholesale clothing markets accelerates


Xinhua net on 01-13 reported that that at the Tenhaocheng, a clothing market at the center of the Beijing zoo area wholesale clothing markets, operations have begun to take down the sign from the top of the building. One of the 12 markets in the Beijing zoo wholesale clothing markets area, once its sign comes off and it is dispersed, it will do much to relieving congestion in the area.

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On the 13th, during the Xicheng district People’s Congress, vice district head Sun Shuo said, relocating the whole complex had already begun. In 2014, the number of market stalls had been reduced by 1300, or 10%.

This is regarded as the largest clothing wholesale collecting and distributing center in Northern China, It began to take form in the ‘80s, and for 30 years it has been the center for fashionable and low-priced clothing. During its period of great prosperity it was called “number one for all of Asia.” Every day of the year it supported the livelihood of more than 10,000 businesses, and 10,000 buyers stopped in to browse.

But, as the scale of Beijing city, its population and industries expanded, the market became increasingly worn out. Its environment became messy, order became confused. This is something many people who passed through it experienced.

As pressures from increased population and the environment reached the limit. the markets no longer continue into the future. At present in the whole city there are 21,148,000 long standing residents, among those 8,027,000 are from elsewhere. Compared to the year 2000 it is an increase of 5,459,000. Power-driven vehicles have topped 5,000,000. The Beijing population uses 1/20th of the water of the whole country.

With these numbers, Beijing must do something to relieve congestion. The districts must cooperate on a plan for sustainable development. From 2014-02, with the start of the Beijing Tianjin Hebei coordinated development plan, and the strategy to move urban functions from the city center, the the Beijing zoo area wholesale clothing markets became viewed as a prime example of congestion in the city center, and an impedance to urban functions.

The Xicheng district Party Committee Secretary Wang Ning said, there are more than 20,000 businesses in the wholesale markets that each year contribute 60 million yuan in tax revenue to Xicheng district, but the district government has to spend 100 million yuan annually to manage traffic and deal with environmental problems in the wholesale markets and vicinity.

But whether the tens of thousands of businesses stay or leave has drawn much attention, and caused a difficult problem

“ 5 items for 10 yuan!” “Clearing our inventory, everything must go!” On the B1 level of Tenhaocheng, store proprietor Xu stood surrounded by piles of underwear. In a loud voice he said, “the Tenhaocheng sign is coming down, the doors are closing. For many days already customers have stopped coming. We are just waiting to get our cash pledge for agreeing to leave, then we are going.”

The Xicheng district government says this is just a “relocation,” not a “dismantling and relocation.” The distinction is that the government cannot force everyone to completely vacate the markets,because it cannot simply set a deadline for everyone to leave [under the threat of demolishing]. The government shall respect the market rules, it will let the market lead the relocation process, Sun Shuo said.

The urban disease of Beijing forces the city to restructure by upgrading its industries. Not only will this cause a radical transformation in the central districts, but the city periphery will also experience changes through interaction with the center, and it will have a deep influence on the economic development of all the districts.

Sun Shuo said, at present the Beijing zoo wholesale clothing markets managers are looking at a 100 kilometer area in which to expand, from sites in Hebei to Tianjin. Yongqing in Hebei is already calling itself the place ready to construct upgraded facilities for the entire clothing industry, from manufacturing to selling finished products. The managers are contracting with Xicheng district to prepare avenues of fashion design, exhibitions and shows, e-commerce and financing, to create a new business model on the site.

Capital University of Business and Economics research professor Ju Erjuan believes moving out the clothing wholesales markets is an important first step in showing that Beijing can take a concrete step to relieve congestion.

Xicheng district head Wang Shao Feng said the district will work even harder to relocate 1000 more businesses from the Beijing zoo wholesale clothing markets this year. Beside these, they will also restructure and disperse the famous Tinayi dry goods markets, as stated in the government report of tasks to work on in 2015.

Beijing Academy of Sciences Research Fellow Zhao Jimin believes that, because human capital is regarded as the most central resource, public services are concentrated in certain better districts. This may induce the “Matthew effect” in which the stronger get stronger, the weak get weaker. Therefore using market mechanisms to disperse urban functions in the capital is not that simple. First, it is necessary to fundamentally narrow the wide disparity in the availability of public services, even to the point of diverting some of the educational resources, medical care and social safeguards which top flight people of talent currently enjoy, and to distribute these more fairly. Only then will it be possible to disperse urban functions and relieve congestion in Beijing, on a more even footing.

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