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Vendors get legal home at new night market
By Yang Jian

BAOSHAN District has relocated stallholders from a now-closed popular but illegal night market in Zhabei District to a new market and made their businesses legal, officials said yesterday.

The first batch of vendors from the Pengpu night market — once Shanghai’s biggest and most popular illegal night market — have reopened for business at Gongkang Road in Baoshan.

Located in uniform stalls, vendors have been asked to keep the environment clean and obey market rules, an official with the Baoshan government said.

This comes after Zhabei law enforcement officials removed the illegal vendors last November, following complaints that they were blocking roads and creating traffic jams.

Only former clothes and handicraft vendors have started business in the new market, with most of the former food vendors from Pengpu yet to come.

While in Zhabei food vendors were a popular draw, they were also blamed by nearby residents for creating smoke, dirt and noise.

However, the management company of the market Ye Shi Shang — Night Food Fashion in English — plans to locate them to a new food court in the market.

“We have made agreements with the vendors to ensure standards of cleanliness, otherwise they will be shut down immediately,” said Wang Jia, operations manager of the new night market project.

The new market has attracted about 100 vendors, mostly the former Pengpu stallholders.

“We’ve brought the Pengpu night market here,” said a clothes vendor named Chen.

Chen said many of his neighbors had moved to the new market in Baoshan with him.

The monthly rent for a stall is 1,600 yuan (US$256), plus a 100 yuan surcharge for cleaning. A small store there, complete with air conditioning, costs 3,000 yuan a month to rent.

Previously at Pengu, stallholders did business in simple and temporary stalls and did not pay for any rent.

“Though we now pay rent, so far we can make the ends meet,” Chen said.

He added that he had every confidence they would revive the former glories of the Pengpu night market.

The new market has also been welcomed by nearby residents.

“As long as they don’t disturb the environment and avoid opening through midnight, then we’re glad to have such a place to visit,” a nearby resident surnamed Huang said.

The Night Food Fashion Market is on Gonghexin Road and Gongkang Road and near the Gongkang Road Station of Metro Line 1.

The Pengpu night market started about 10 years ago near the Pengpu Xincun Station on Metro Line 1.

In its heyday, there were some 400 stalls set up along the 1-kilometer section on Linfen Road, attracting a large crowds till way past midnight every day.

It became the city’s most popular market for its low prices.

But arguments often broke out between the bus drivers and stall owners who refused to make way for vehicles.

Sometimes these confrontations led to violence, with bus drivers beaten up by the stallholders helped by other vendors during disputes.

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