Several videos posted on Twitter show that the retail stores on the street or in shopping malls in large cities like Shanghai, Guangdong, and Shenzhen are closed. At the same time, the once officially banned street vendors have begun to re-appear in the larger cities like Beijing, an indication that the Chinese economy is heading towards depression.
The videos were posted on different twitter accounts. They show that many retail stores on Nanjing Road in Shanghai and Luohu Commercial City in Shenzhen are closed due to an increase in e-commerce shopping and the COVID 19 pandemic. The once prosperous commercial districts that used to be packed with retail stores are like empty cities right now. In Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province, there were not only few visitors and customers at an annual International Commodity Fair, but also, few exhibitors participated in the fair. The organizers had to use cardboard to block sight of the empty booths. In Heilongjiang in the northern part of China, a video showed a street with few people. The person who was taking the video said, “What happened? It is only five or six o’clock in the afternoon right now. All the stores are closed. There are not that many people on the street.” In Beijing, the city started to allow street vendors to sell on the street again even though the city was previously against the street vendor idea. One economist commented that allowing street vendors means that the economy is not doing well. Even though these street vendors will not help to improve the overall economy, if the street vendors were still not allowed, there would be more people unemployed. They could become a possible source of social instability.
Source: New Tang Dynasty Television, October 26, 2020