May 2, 2018 / 12:45 AM / 3 months ago

China encourages big cities to build more shopping centers

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will encourage its big cities to build more shopping centers this year to meet the growing consumption demands of local residents, according to new government guidelines.

Shoppers are seen inside the Wanda Plaza in Xinxiang, Henan province, China March 23, 2018. Picture taken March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Stella Qiu

The Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday that it would encourage cities with a permanent resident population of more than 10 million to each build at least 10 “multi-functional” shopping centers this year, which could include childcare, entertainment and restaurants.

Cities with a permanent resident population of five to 10 million might build five such centers or more, it said in a statement posted on its website.

It said that currently available consumer service networks were unable to meet the growing consumption demands of local residents, adding that it would encourage private investors and retail chains to participate in construction of such centers.

Consumption levels in China’s lower-tier cities have been rising faster than Beijing and Shanghai due to industrialization and rapid urbanization in the last ten years.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Eric Meijer

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