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Chengguan goes undercover as street vendor


10:54, June 17, 2013

A photo from a microblog post shows a Chengguan officer, or urban management officer, operating a street stand.

A microblog post about a Chengguan officer-turned-street vendor went viral online, sparking many comments.

The Chengguan officer, or urban management officer, surnamed Gui, has been confirmed to be an employee with the Urban Management Bureau of Hongshan District in Wuhuan, Central China's Hubei province, according to Beijing News. He is a formal employee, said the authorities.

The Urban Management Bureau of Hongshan District said Chengguan officers are banned from operating street stands, claiming the officer was on an undercover assignment to put him among street vendors in response to Internet users' discussions over the legality of Chengguan officers working as such.

A new round of comments was stirred up after the official response was issued. Some recognized the undercover mission as a prelude to a mutual understanding, while others still questioned the legality of such a move.

Chengguan are the nemesis of street peddlers as their main responsibility is to crack down on unlicensed street vendors. The conflict between the two groups was recently highlighted after one incident occurred where a Chengguan officer beat a street vendor, which gathered widespread public attention.

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