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Many Stores Are Deserted or Closed in Guangzhou & Shanghai; nearly Sixty Percent of Chinese Are Trying to Save Money

In China, more and more businesses are finding it increasingly difficulty to survive and have had to close their doors. The reason is the COVID-19 epidemic coupled with the government’s tough “Zero-COVID” policy. On July 21, China’s Guyu Data reported that the vacancy rate of shops in Shanghai and Guangzhou reached 9.8 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively, (data for most cities are not yet available). In 2019, the vacancy rates in China’s first- and second-tier cities were around 6.1 percent. That rate increased to 11.0 percent and 9.0 percent in 2020 and 2021. Generally speaking, a store vacancy rate of 6 percent is cause for alarm.

From January to April, the total daily shopping mall traffic in China decreased by 19 percent compared to the same period last year. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the total retail sales of consumer goods in April was down by 11.1 percent year-over-year.

In the first quarter of 2022 in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the store opening/closing ratios were 0.85, 0.88 and 0.76, respectively, showing more store closures than store openings.

In the second quarter of 2022, the People’s Bank of China conducted a questionnaire survey of 20,000 urban depositors in 50 cities nationwide. The results showed that 23.8 percent of residents tended to “consume more,” while 58.3 percent of residents tended to “save more.” This is 3.6 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

Source:, July 21, 2022.                                                                                                                                                    percent