China reverses ban on street vendors to boost economy, sparking new demand for digital solutions

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Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan and other tech giants give roadside vendors digital makeover, so they can compete with fast-food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut

After two decades of harsh bans on traditional street vendors as China prioritized urban development across the country, many local authorities have overturned the restrictions, hoping such microbusinesses would help create millions of new jobs amid the unemployment crisis caused by Covid-19. The central government now sees the expansion of microbusinesses as a way to boost consumption and economic recovery nationwide. Premier Li Keqiang even declared that street stalls and small shops are “vital sources of jobs“ and ”provide vitality to the society in the same way as high-end businesses....
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Edited by Suzanne Soh, Wang Xiao'e

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