Across China: Night market ignites economic vitality of Chongqing
CHONGQING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- As evening sets in, Chung Chia-ming arrives at the teeming night market of Nan'an District in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, parks his car on the roadside, unlocks the tastefully adorned car trunk, and kicks up his mobile lemon tea stall.
Chung hails from Macao and he runs the tea stall with his girlfriend, where they also sell Hong Kong and Macao snacks.
"Customer flow has increased dramatically since the Chinese Lunar New Year. I am very optimistic about business prospects this year," Chung said, adding that he once sold more than 200 cups of lemon tea in a single evening.
"The car trunk shop is a special feature of our night market, providing a fast and efficient service to the customers," said Xiong Yingdong, who is in charge of the night market.
Chen Miao, who used to teach yoga, now runs a stall selling hand-made glutinous rice balls.
"The fitness industry had been hit hard by the COVID-19 epidemic in recent years. I was unemployed for some time and was uncertain about the future," Chen said, adding that after considering numerous options, she finally decided to launch the glutinous rice ball stall at the night market at a relatively low cost.
"The business has obviously improved since the beginning of this year. Despite being very busy at times, I am thrilled to earn money on my own, and it has also boosted my self-confidence," Chen said.
Chen's shop has gained immense popularity among visitors. "A lot of people come not just for the food but also to take photos with her. She has set a fantastic example for young people in terms of dedication and hard work," Xiong said.
There are currently about 130 stalls at the night market. The customer flow during the weekdays exceeds 10,000 every night, and on weekends, it surges to about 30,000.
Nearly 30 percent of the vendors run their stalls as part-time jobs and Peng Jing is one among them.
Peng said she works for a travel outfit shop during the day and sells Southeast Asian cuisine at the market at night.
"It is hard work but I can earn extra money. I believe that we must strive for a good life," said Peng, adding that her monthly salary is about 7,000 yuan (about 1,021 U.S. dollars) and profits from the night market stall can exceed 7,000 yuan a month.
"The night market has brought joy and fun for the consumers and at the same time boosted the confidence of the vendors. Its flexibility affords more employment alternatives to job-seekers and is gaining popularity among young people," said Liu Jiangyong, deputy director of the district's commerce commission.
Chongqing's Nan'an District has been striving to stimulate consumption in the cultural and tourism industry, and this popular night market has injected new vitality into the night economy, Liu added.