This is China: A night trip in 'sleepless' country
Updated 13:10, 27-May-2020

Editor's note: THIS IS CHINA is an original animated series CGTN Digital presents for the Two Sessions. Each episode focuses on the most popular topics and trends in China, recounting how China's economy and society, guided by government policies, have evolved in the new era.  

The key term in this episode: The nighttime economy.

From buzzing food scenes to diverse evening exhibitions and enriching cultural experiences, cities across China are packed with vibrant energy thanks to a booming nighttime economy.

China's nighttime economy – consumption in cities between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. – features eating, sightseeing, shopping, sports, exhibitions and performances, providing more possibilities for people to enjoy their night hours outside the home.

China's GDP grew by 6.3 percent in the first half of 2019, and consumption continues to be the driving force, accounting for 60 percent of that growth. Nighttime consumption has huge potential for further development, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

A night view of Shanghai, eastern China. /Xinhua

A night view of Shanghai, eastern China. /Xinhua

Positive measures contribute to the development of nighttime economy.

Many Chinese cities, especially metropolises such as Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, have rolled out plans to support nighttime consumption to drive economic growth. 

Shanghai will draw up a development plan of the Nightlife Agglomeration Area and add more parking spaces, taxi waiting areas and late-night bus services. 

Beijing extended the running hours of its subway Line 1 and Line 2 on Fridays and Saturdays, requiring the last train to depart after 12 p.m. since July 19, 2019.

Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, has lowered the cost of electricity for stores, reducing the financial burden on local shopping malls and allowing them to stay open later.

Chinese youngsters also support China's nighttime consumption market. Nearly 60 percent of respondents to a China Youth Daily survey of 1,977 people aged 18-35 said they make nighttime purchases at least twice a week and 9.1 percent almost every night.

According to a "late sleeper report" from Alibaba in September 2019, individuals from the post-1995 generation are particularly drawn to nighttime cultural consumption, including watching movies or plays, listening to music, reading books and enjoying performances.

In 2020, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, China's nighttime economy is faced with fresh challenges yet has found new inspirations. 

Decentralized consumption and on-and-offline interactions are the up-and-coming models leading the pace of the country's nighttime economy. 

In the future, more and more nighttime activities will serve to light up cities all across China. 


Editor: Duan Fengyuan

Copy editor: John Goodrich

Chief editor: Chen Ran

Senior consultant: Dr. Xia Jixuan

Producer: Si Nan

Supervisor: Zhang Shilei