Beijing Forces Thousands of 'Non-Essential' Businesses to Close

By Justine Lopez, February 10, 2017

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The capital is cleaning house. And by this we mean Beijing is making strides in its efforts to move non-essential businesses out of the city in order to optimize industrial and urban growth, Xinhua reports.

There are plans to close 500 factories and tear down roughly 40 million square meters worth of illegal buildings by the end of this year. The government has set aside RMB10 billion to close down, demolish or relocate thousands of Beijing-based businesses.

The idea is to make more room for more high-yielding and essential business, such as Beijing’s booming tech startups and companies relating to politics, culture and international communication. 

Businesses that are deemed non-essential – such as Beijing’s many marketplaces and high-polluting factories and manufacturing facilities – are being forced to either close or move to Hebei and Tianjin.

Over 1,300 manufacturing operations in Beijing have already been shuttered, which has freed up more than seven million square meters of land.

Cai Qi, Beijing's Mayor, announced Sunday that a zoning plan for all this newly-cleared land has been created.

The Beijing Zoo Wholesale Market has been highly impacted by the capital’s efforts to create more space. At one point the area was home to 13 wholesale markets. However at the time of writing only five remain. These markets have either closed permanently or been relocated to Hebei. They are reportedly being replaced by schools and supermarkets. The Beijing Zoo Wholesale Market will be completely shut down by the end of this year.

Zhongguancun – Beijing’s tech hub also known as “China’s Silicon Valley” – has also seen rapid changes. In the past five years, thousands of vendors and booths have been relocated outside of the city, and 550,000 square meters of retail shops have been shut down making room for over 100 companies and startups to set up shop in the area. 

[Image via South China Morning Post]

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