Officials are making efforts to turn Shenzhen's Huaqiang Bei, which is often hailed as the world's largest electronics market, into a tourist site, according to a Shenzhen Daily report, citing 'a recent seminar' by the area's subdistrict office.
Further refocusing the area away from bulk electronics sales would seem to spell the end of business for many who make their living in the 960-meter-stretch of stores, but seller Jiang Haoyuan struck a resigned note when asked about it Tuesday.
"It's not bad," he said. "Besides, right now, business is not good."
With shoppers buying electronics online in increasing numbers, the market has taken a hit, seeing double-digit shop vacancies, according to a 2016 news report. And with a popular June Chinese news article titled 'Who Killed Huaqing Bei?,' it seems a need for a change is widely recognized.
Indeed, a refurbishment project that began in 2013 saw the main road turned into a pedestrian street – cutting off direct truck pickups for bulk orders.
As for the timeline, Shenzhen Daily only says within the three to five years the area will launch a virtual-reality based "landscape experience."
[Image via Shenzhen Shopper]