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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 09:49, January 13, 2005
Past and future of Xiushui Market
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Xiushui Market, a major Beijing tourist attraction with an international fame, was officially closed on January 6 after 20 years of business when a huge bucket of a yellow forklift scooped down its red logo. Thousands of people standing behind a warning line witnessed the demolition scene while dozens of cameras were recording the last moment of the popular outdoor market, also known as Silk Street market among foreigners.

The Xiushui Market is not strange to both Beijing citizens and foreign sightseers.

The market is located at the Xiushui Dongjie, Chaoyang District in Beijing and close to the southeast of the Ritan embassy area. There are 410 stalls in the market. It draws nearly 1,000 business people with its sale volume of more than 100 million yuan per year. The main commodities include garments, silk products and tourist souvenirs. Xuishui Market is a silk street famed both at home and abroad and is one of the products set up after China's reform and opening to the outside world (another is Yabaolu Garment Market, which was also demolished). It was situated at the east of the "first embassy area'', close to the US Embassy in China in the north, the Qijiayuan diplomatic mansions in the west, bordering the Dongdaqiao residential area in the east. Xiushui Market is also known as "embassy area'' since it is close to many embassies nearby.

Through more than 10 years of development, the market becomes one of the comparatively famed commercial streets in Beijing. Here one not only can buy traditional Chinese silk products and fine handicraft, but also various famous brand products from aboard. It draws many foreign shoppers. They bargain with the vendors in broken Chinese or gesture. Many vendors in the market could promote their commodities in simply foreign words or calculators.

Reasons for demolishing the market
Why is the famous market demolished? According to Yin Xiaobo assistant to the general manager with the economic management center of the Jianguomenwai Community, Chaoyang district, one of the reasons for demolishing the market is attributed to false brand names.

Many of the commodities sold at the market are in the name of products processing for foreign companies or resold by the vendors to the place of production. Some foreign brand name garments appeared in fashion magazines could also be found in the market �C of course they are false. However, according to an Italian who bought Italian brand name garments and wristwatches from the market and returned home, they were proven to be real after appraisal. Due to this, the market attracts many young people who are faddish.

In addition the market is ordered to close because it does not have proper firefighting facilities and lacks a land certificate.

New Xiushui Market soon to open
The old market has been demolished, however, the market is to be continued. It is learned that to the east side of the demolished market, the construction of a building with an area of 30,000 square meters, known as the New Silk Alley Market, has been completed. There will be 1,600 booths in the new building. According to the developer of the building, the advantages of the old market will be available in the new one, targeting the shopping groups including foreign tourists and local white-collar workers.

How to open the new market becomes the focus of people. Recently Tong Keke spokesperson and deputy director of Chaoyang District talked about the new market, saying the new market will eradicate false brand names. "We will give up the prosperity of the market if Xiushui cannot be prosperous without false brand names''.

Tong stressed false name brands will bring great negative influence to the development of Chaoyang District, or even that of Beijing. The new market will be updated in management concepts.

According to Tong since November last year Chaoyang District has cooperated with foreign chambers of commerce to China from Americas and Europe and listed nine major protective brands including Louis vuitton and Chanel. The commodities will be deemed as false goods if they are available in the market and the vendors who sell them will be punished. Through this foreign investors will be informed that "it is safe to invest in Chaoyang District and their intellectual property rights will be protected''.

When asked if the sales of famous brand products will increase the prices of the products sold at the new market, Ji Wei told reporters that it is not necessary to worry about this. "The vendors will adjust their commodities themselves and the prices will not be too expensive. They will replace commodities if they find the commodities do not sell well''.

Four advantages for the new market
The new Xiushui Market is a five-story building with three underground stories covering an area of 28,000 square meters.

First: the new market will open to business for the golden shopping time after five o'clock in the afternoon in order to meet the demand for shopping after work.

Second: there will not be bad weather disturbance.

Third: it will be convenient for shoppers as there will be an exit linked to the city's subway. There are several hundred parking lots in the two squares round the building.

Fourth: equipped with a clinic for foreigners and a foreign reception room, the new market has signed agreements with many famous travel agencies at home. In addition, the vendors will be trained in foreign languages and a sound language environment will be available for shoppers.

Chronicle in the past 20 years
In August 1958 the market was set up by Jianwai subdistrict office with commodities including garments and daily necessities.

In November 1998 the management and administrative rights were handed over to the economic management center of the Jianwai community due to separating the functions of government from those of the enterprise carried out by the Jianwai subdistrict office. The handover was ended in 2000.

In July 2004 the application for demolishing the old market was made by the Beijing Urban Planning Bureau, the Chaoyang Public Engineering Committee, the Chaoyang Department of Public Security and Fire Fighting, and the Chaoyang Foreign Liaison Office because it doesn't have a land certificate or obey fire regulations, and also suffers from security problems.

On July 15, 2004, Jianwei subdistrict office held a meeting of vendor representatives. Six vendor representatives with more than 30 vendors attended the meeting and they offered their suggestions and update ideas.

On November 23, 2004, Beijing Administrative Bureau for Industry and Commerce and Beijing Commercial Bureau listed the market as one of nine streamlined markets in Beijing in accordance with "Strengthening Market Supervision and Crackdown on False Commodities''.

By People's Daily Online

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