Licang turns village into commercial center

Licun village in the district of Licang, Qingdao, has evolved from a small retail distribution center into a modern commercial area, while preserving its unique folk culture, according to local officials.

The village is most well known for its street market that has a history of 430 years. The market laid the foundation for the distribution hub that has formed today.

By the first decade of the 21st century, the street market had developed into a large-scale one stretching 5 kilometers long, and offered a full range of retail goods, from food and drink to high-tech products.

However, the development has not come without challenges. With the continuous increase in visitors and traffic, Licun's street market experienced disorderly construction, deteriorating environment and traffic congestion.

To improve the situation, the Licang district government carried out a comprehensive renovation in 2015, as part of its efforts to develop Licun village into a leisure and tourism area integrating catering, shopping, cultural tourism, offices, sightseeing and entertainment.

In June of the same year, on the basis of a full investigation and the extensive soliciting of opinions, the Licang district government moved Licun's street market to a newly-built indoor facility.

The move has helped strengthen the standardized management of the market, and ensure the inheritance of the folk culture of the time-honored street market, according to the local government.

With all efforts made, Licun village now represents a modern business district with multiple up-to-date commercial entities, serving as an optimal place for local residents to shop and spend their leisure time, local officials said.

"In the past, we could only buy things at Licun's street market on certain days. But now, as more shopping malls open here, we can go shopping for anything we want at any time," said a resident surnamed Li, who lives around the modern business district in Licun village.

The Licun business district has developed into a commercial and cultural complex that can keep up to date with development trends and consumer demand, according to officials from the Licang district government.

Licang district in Qingdao, Shandong province is making strides in developing a modern commercial area while preserving its unique folk culture. CHINA DAILY

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