What Hong Kong can learn from Hangzhou in Night Bazaar?

October 04, 2023 22:33

It is a night to remember on this National Day not just because of the fireworks display not seen in five years that gathered over 430,000 people along Victoria Harbour, but also because the Hong Kong football team broke into the semi-final with a 1-0 win over Iran in the Asian Games.

I cannot help switching over TV channels for the fireworks in Hong Kong and the football in Hangzhou but ended up choosing to stay with the mainland city that offers more excitement.
Perhaps the same can be said of the night bazaar in Hangzhou, where its famous Wulin spot has become such a sensation in the past decade. Thanks to the Asian Games, Wulin Night Bazaar became even hotter this month after it had cleared a daily 150 rubbish bins per day in the golden holiday this May.

A major economic and e-commerce hub famous for being the home of Alibaba Group, Hangzhou is the second biggest city in the Yangtze Delta after Shanghai. With a rich cultural root and a relatively young population, the Wulin Night Bazaar, 500 meters away from the famous West Lake, is a must-go local and tourist destination.

Half of the stalls sold cultural and creative handmade products such as ghost masks of Sun Wukong aka Monkey King and Spiderman. One can easily imagine the scene we saw over Halloween weekend in Hong Kong was in fact the normal routine in Hangzhou.

Known for being trendy and young, one stall owner Mr Ye told a Hong Kong newspaper the key lies in “doing what the young people want”.

“Only youngsters could attract youngsters,” Ye said. “We must offer an entrepreneurial platform for the college students who know how to use new ways to sell old products”.

Apart from offering a parade show twice a year, the organizer of Wulin Night Parade offered training for live broadcasts and guaranteed compensation for consumers who were not satisfied with their products.

Using the management theory of running shopping malls to the night market, it is not hard to understand why one-third of the stores in Wulin have been operating for over five years since the Night Bazaar started in April 2013.

So, how our once Pearl of the Orient could learn from Wulin to outshine its bigger neighbour city and reclaim the title of the city that never sleeps? Perhaps there is no better way to start with a good understanding of the local youth and how to motivate them for building a better Hong Kong.

-- Contact us at [email protected]

EJ Insight writer