CHINA How Shenyang City is promoting a thriving nightlife economy


How Shenyang City is promoting a thriving nightlife economy


19:44, March 18, 2023

Fireworks seen in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China, March, 2023. (Photos: CGTN)

Fostering more consumer spending is one of China's goals as it aims for the 5-percent economic growth this year.

One area being targeted for a rebound is the urban nightlife economy, after three years of COVID-19 restrictions. Shenyang, the capital city of northeastern Liaoning Province, has boosted its nightlife economy.

The nightlife economy drives purchasing, interaction, and social engagement, all of which impact how fast the economies of Chinese cities can recover after the pandemic.

"You can have a good time especially when the bustling atmosphere returns to the streets," said Sun Quan, a resident of Shenyang.

A 'live house' show in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China, March, 2023.

This month, the city of Shenyang rolled out stimulus measures to encourage more people to go out at night.

"We've been keeping ourselves busy by rolling out online and offline promotions in line with the city's new stimulus measures, and we've seen an increase in our customer base lately," said Ma Jinju, the manager of Chic Inn 'live house,' a term that describes live music venues.

The stimulus measures the city has rolled out center around supporting creative industries, maintaining late-night transit, incorporating local culture and ensuring safety while keeping the community lively. The city is also issuing more licenses for entertainment venues and youth hostels, improving public transport in commercial districts, providing free open-air venues for culture shows, among others.

People walking around in Zhongjie, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, China, in March 2023.

When people think about nightlife, the first things that come to mind are bars, restaurants, music and party. But the notion of the nightlife economy has a much broader meaning – it is a source of new jobs and new income for the city.

"I think many young people are influenced by social media, as they are inspired by others about where to eat, how to have a good night out, and what are the latest trends," said Huang Fei, a vendor in Shenyang.

As an essential part of the urban economy, the nightlife is an indicator of the city's openness, convenience, and dynamism.

After China relaxed its COVID-19 rules, more cities are expected to follow suit and cultivate bustling environments to sustain strong consumer spending.

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