When the sun goes down, business explodes in Shanghai to boost the economy

Shanghai residents visit Yuyuan Garden in the evening. CHEN YUYU/FOR CHINA DAILY

While making great strides to build an international consumer hub, Shanghai is exploring nightlife businesses in multiple dimensions that cover shopping, dining, sightseeing, entertainment, shows, reading events and exercise – a sleepless city full of vitality.

“The prosperity of its nocturnal economy is considered an important reference in the openness and vitality of a city. It is said that if one wants to experience the uniqueness of a city, the most direct answer should be its night economy,” said Liu Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

According to Liu, the city of Shanghai is ready with nighttime facilities and resources, comprehensive nightlife services and a broad perspective of the nighttime consumer market.

Currently, the city has more than 6,000 convenience stores, more than 13,000 restaurants open after midnight and 506 subway stations offering service beyond 10 p.m., according to Liu.

The city has also created three walking streets especially for nighttime activities, 15 iconic areas for evening entertainment, 10 waterfront nightlife experience areas and 30 riverside nightlife spots. water, Mr. Liu added.

In Huangpu District, adjacent to the city’s famous Bund, the Bund Finance Center (BFC) has transformed its weekend market into a nighttime lounge by offering a variety of nighttime drinking scenes. More than 40 brands and merchants present their reference projects on various themes, products and professions.

The varied offer not only attracts gourmets with bars and Michelin restaurants, but also offers culture lovers art museums and bookshops, as well as places specially designed for entertainment, sports and lifestyles. innovative, according to Zhang Ting, vice general manager of marketing. division with the Bund Finance Center.

“We try to create the mixed experience of a modern bazaar, socializing, arts and more that takes place at night,” Zhang said.

Similarly, Sun Hung Kai Properties has planned to launch a series of nighttime activities in September and October in its Shanghai shopping malls, ranging from balcony parties, fashion shows and art markets to camping, markets outdoors, an open-air cinema and live band performances. .

“We held several themed nighttime activities, including art night markets, yoga classes, and planting on a farm, as well as outdoor camping and parties at the Shanghai IFC Mall, which helped contributed to enhancing the competitiveness of our mall,” said Maureen Fung, Executive Director of Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd.

“Nighttime consumers have a higher demand for social and leisure activities, food and fitness, so we designed activities with a particular focus on experience and interaction,” Fung added. .

Shanghai topped the comprehensive night economy index among all Chinese cities, according to a survey by Yicai Media Group earlier in September, followed by Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Beijing and Chengdu in Sichuan province.

The index was compiled based on six main dimensions, namely late night travel and movie activities, as well as amenities such as buses and night lighting, and entertainment such as number of bars and emerging performance spaces such as show houses and performance halls.

The index assesses a city’s nightlife economy using the criteria of venues, content and population groups, as well as supporting facilities, according to Yang Yudong, editor-in-chief of Shanghai Yicai Media Group.

There are over 400 shopping malls, approximately 80,000 restaurants and over 4,000 entertainment venues available for nighttime activities across the city. About 3.38 million people in Shanghai traveled at night in 2021, far more than any other top-tier city in China, Yang said.

“For tourists visiting Shanghai, their trip will be incomplete if they haven’t enjoyed its nightlife,” Liu said.

According to Mr. Liu, the night economy is an important step in showcasing a city’s history, innovation and progress, an essential part of the city’s high-quality development, as well as proof of the city ​​wisdom in urban governance.

Sally J. Minick