Category Archives: News & Links

Regulatory Department of Street Food Vending in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a long history of Hawker (vendors) that could be traced back over a century. The Environmental Hygiene Administration Division is responsible for the general management of Hawker. As you can see, the following picture shows the governmental structure:


According to the official website of Hawker Control (, hawker license has a limited resource because the regulatory department suspended licensing since 1970. Although the department opened licensing application sometime in recent years, but overall the limitation on the amount of Hawker license has been very strict. In addition, the Hong Kong government has been showing a negative attitude towards Hawker, as they have stated in departmental objectives: “To reduce illegal hawking activities in streets by taking enforcement action.” Until the end of 2016,

“the number of fixed-pitch (excluding Temporary Hawker Licences) and itinerant hawker licences in the urban area were 5 278 and 201 respectively. The number of fixed-pitch (excluding Temporary Hawker Licences) and itinerant hawker licences in the New Territories were 218 and 214 respectively.”

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Hawkers 6985 6739 6546 6347 6133


Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Total related convictions

for offences

30217 30490 31358 34011 29095


Data Source: Hong Kong government annual report 2011-2015

Though the government has a strict licensing amount for permanent Hawker licenses, people could still apply for a temporary one which could only last for at most one month. Compared to Taipei, Hong Kong government has less requirements such as salary and employment status for the permanent license application, but because of the scare quantity of license and uncertainty of the time point when the department will freeze the application, it’s much harder to get a Hawker license in Hong Kong than a vendor permit in Taipei.

As we can see from the second chart above, there’s an increasing trend on the number of related convictions for offences within Hawkers. Those convictions include cases in which licensed Hawkers violate rules and unlicensed Hawkers do business illegally. Hong Kong has Hawker Control Team (HCT) which is affiliated to the Food and Environment Hygiene Department to regulate Hawkers in specific areas. According to the annual reports, there are 191 teams of 2100 people on duty to regulate Hawkers in different areas in Hong Kong. Different from Taipei’s regulatory actions which are more tolerant, Hong Kong is practicing the regulations in an extremely strict way. Therefore, over years, there has been conflicts between Hawkers and HCT and police department – some of which even involves violence, such as the Fishball Revolution in Jan. 2016.

In addition to the “Hawkers Regulation” 《小販規例》, HCT also refers to Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance《公眾衞生及市政條例》 (Chapter 132), Summary Offences Ordinance《簡易程序治罪條例》(Chapter 228, Section 6 Street cries for buying or selling), Fixed Penalty (Public Cleanliness and Obstruction) Ordinance《定額罰款(公眾地方潔淨及阻礙)條例》(Chapter 570), and Food Business Regulation《食物業規例》.

Hawker License classification:

  1. Fixed-pitch hawker license (Bootblack; Cooked food or light refreshment; Newspaper; Tradesman; Barber; Wall stall; and Other classes.)
  2. Itinerant hawker licenses
  3. Temporary licenses

* Hawker badges (given along with licenses, but as an identification for the hawker)

The regulation is made from the following aspects:

– specified commodities and service, time and area

– restrictions on special hawking area

– restrictions on age of applicants

– required documents for application

– requirements on license publicity

– restrictions and rules for deputies and assistant

Hong Kong regulatory departments were sparing efforts to eliminate the number of Hawkers, especially those stalls which are near the place where there’s potential fire safety issues. The government started “Assistance Scheme for Hawkers in Fixed-pitch Hawker Areas” activity to support the Hawkers with funding to improve fire safety conditions by reimburse those hawkers relocation and restructuring expenses. However, they also have practiced “buying back” the licenses from hawkers by offering “an ex-gratia payment” (120,000 HKD) to those who volunteer to return their licenses to the government. Through year 2013 till now, there are lots of relocations happening due to safety concerns.

Media Report on Social Groups Helping Hawker Night Markets in Hong Kong:

香港 vs 台北:设一个熟食夜市到底有多难?

Hong Kong VS Taipei: How hard is it to set up a cooked food night market?

Source: (Please click the link for videos and pictures)

Date: Jan. 31st, 2017


Mr. Li works for an NGO focusing on helping people with lower income. In this year, Mr. Li works with the local community to hold a temporary cooked food night market in Hong Kong, only with 14 stands and on three nights. The night market attracted lots of people to have a taste of traditional Hong Kong snacks such as fish balls, chicken feet, sweet tofu soup and etc. The NGO and many people in the community are thinking of to “reform” from the very bottom of the society – delivering their opinions to the government by real actions. For this night market event, they organized surveys and meetings and wrote plans within the community for 8 months, and then waited for the approval from 6 governmental departments for 2 months. Finally, it took them another 3 weeks to finalized the decision with parliament.

Media Quotation:


“The government doesn’t have any policy and help for supporting the actions from the very basic people of the society,” said Dacheng Li.


Xiaoli Liu, senator, who once traveled in Taipei, says that Taipei’s night market is very impressive. She thinks that food market is providing an opportunity to the grass-root class, and also a space for the voice from the basic society.

她指出,政府近年对新春夜市严厉执法,连小贩用来糊口的几天都要抺杀,才激发到公众关注小贩权益,“社会管治里,存有『Social Safety Valve』(社会安全阀)的概念,意思是不可以全权压制一些社会诉求,有少许的喘息空间,社会才安全。『大禹治水』的道理,不是去塞住通道,是以排水的方式来治水。”她说。 她提倡香港订立墟市政策,现阶段政府可成立跨部门小组,处理民间就临时墟市的申请,迎合“由下而上”的方式。

She points out that it’s the fact that Hong Kong government enforces the rules strictly on New Year period and prohibits the hawker’s business in such a special holiday that makes people look into the issue seriously. “When regulating a society, there is a notion of ‘Social Safety Valve’, which means you cannot suppress the voice from the society. You need to give them some space so that it would be safe. It’s the same as Da Yu who combats the flood in ancient time, not to plug but to lead the water into the drain,” says Liu. She advocates the government to make a policy on hawker market. For now the government can have a temporary group which combines duties from different departments to reply to the applications from communities to set up temporary markets, to satisfy the need from the basic group of people in the society.


Li is not optimistic about this proposal. He says that the government has realized the problem in 2015 and proposed to have outdoor hawker market and night market. However, it is never realized. The most the government does is to give an abstract instruction, but no clear policy provided for further development. He is now worried about the shift to the new government for next round. What has been instructed and promised now might have great change in the future. So he puts more expectations on the action from the society to try to set up more temporary markets. “I come from a hawker family. I make my life relying on the hawker market,” says Li at the market. Now he hopes other people from the society could make their life in through hawker market.

Entrepreneurship of “Internet-Popular” (网红)Food Stalls in Shanghai and Related Regulation Updates

Overview on recent media report:

Media press talks about expectations the new regulation on food, which is said to include the supportive terms for street food vending business, from the positive aspect by giving several examples on how the those illegal vendors who sell “Internet-Popular” (网红)food to get the license in the past several years, which in fact does not talk directly about how the process of registration or requirements would be simplified for the vendors but speaks generally on the fact that the regulations is released.

Media Report:

Looking into Shanghai Ayi’s Entrepreneurship – How Street Food in Lanes get the “ID”

走进上海阿姨创业路 “弄堂美食”如何获得合法”身份证”

Source: Wenhui Newspaper (Jiefang Daily Group)

Date: Apr. 8th, 2017

Three Examples of Street Food in Lane which are called “Internet Popular” food:

  1. Grandma Hu’s YouDunZi

Grandma Hu used to be a cook in government canteen and started to be a street food vendor in 2001. She has to do the business for the debt that her son owed. She has been struggling with Chengguan over the years. Since Grandma Hu is 79 years old now, she would like to retire from the business once all the debt is paid back.

  1. Jiang Ayi YouDunZi (Interview by SMG)

Jiang Ayi is a local Shanghainese who has passion for food. She started to do YouDunZi because she wanted to present the authentic flavor to old customers. Jiang Ayi is not a typical street food vendor since she has a shop front.

  1. Ma Ayi Rice Dumpling

Ma Ayi Rice Dumpling has been formalized now. According to the article, Ma Ayi failed to get the license for several times due to various reasons including urban appearance and environment, fire safety issues and neighborhood relationships.

However, the article fails to explain more about the newly released regulation on food, especially on street food vending sector. Overall, though the regulation gives a solution to street food vending by introducing “备案制”, which seems to have a simplified process and requirements for registration but in fact some people argues that it is a more strict way to regulate street food vendors:


When the regulation is discussed during the 14th Shanghai People’s Congress, the 5th meeting, many delegates comment on “Street Food in Lanes”. On one hand, there are citizens’ demands for food, and on the other hand, once the stands are banned, the owners can’t make a living. “We need an innovative resolution on regulation to give the street food vending some space,” said a delegate called Xu Liping. She hopes that Shanghai government could create a regulation method that regulate different business in different categories and levels when reducing or slowing down the growth of the amount of street food vending business.


Now the regulation gives a new way: for those small food business places which could not get the license but could meet the food safety requirement and have no influence on neighborhood, local government can register them temporarily and give them a public information card for temporary permission on business.


After the regulation put into practice, local market supervision, environment, housing management, fire safety and Chengguan department should regulate small food business accordingly. “We need to regulate more strictly in and after the process, the regulation standard on those small business should be the same as on the licensed,” said the header of FDA, Yan Zuqiang. In fact, the policy has been experimented with A Da Fried Scallion Pancake. The environment of the new pancake stand has been improved a lot after its reopen with the help with regulatory department in Huangpu District.


“Even though the business follows regulations and laws, the current registration system is not a permeant solution,” said Yan Zuqiang. He is thinking about modifying the regulation in detail and set limit on years – each business can re-apply once after the temporary permission expires. After the re-application, the owner should either apply for the license or quit the market. “‘Internet-Popular’ Food should not always be in version 1.0. Hopefully we can bring out more upgraded business models with local characteristics.”


From the media report, we can see that the current registration plan for small food vending business owners is a method which gives these owners more time to prepare for the legal license. The ultimate goal of the government is to formalize those business.

Other government actions also indicate that they are trying to pushing the formalization of those food vending business. For example, the regulatory department enforce the new regulation to the illegal small food business immediately on the first when the new regulation is in practice.


The First of New Regulation on Food Safety: Look Strictly on Illegal Food Vendors and Restaurants with Borrowed Licenses


Date: Mar. 20th, 2017


Mar. 20th is the first day for the “Shanghai Food Safety Regulations” to be in practice formally. On that day, the journalist went with FDA and market regulators to see law-enforcement departments to check the situation of illegal stands and online ordering.


In the old city area in Huangpu, the law-enforcement group figured out several illegal small food businesses. In the past decades, many small food businesses were playing “hide-and -see” with law-enforcement people. When the regulators come, they close the door. Some of them re-open immediately after being fined. At No. 129 South Guangqi Road, the regulators found an illegal fast food place, which was hard to discover. The make the pipes for lampblack along the wall, which disturbs the neighborhood and brings risk of fire safety issues.


Law-enforcement team regulated some restaurants without licenses, pushed down the illegal construction and turned the building into the original appearance. Zhu Liang, the Vice Director of market regulation department in Huangpu. The law-enforcement is led by street-level government, market regulation department. Many departments cooperate together. From single department to multiple departments, the goal is to prevent illegal food business from recovering.


On one side, the government need to regulate the illegal food business to reduce food safety risks; on the other side, for those food business that meet the food safety standards, the new regulation gives them the chance to register at street-level government.


In all, government’s attitude towards street food vending and small food vending business is not as clear as stated in the new regulation. It seems that the new regulation gives more space to those business, but it depends on how the regulatory department practices. Government tend to offer better resource or opportunity for popular food stands or vendors since the public opinion matters, but for those who are not famous, it could be a worse period now.

Some more short videos about street food:

A Da Fried Scallion Pancake –

Jiang San Stinky Tofu –

A Qiao Wonton –


Regulatory Department Reform and Current Regulations on Street Food Vending in China


The regulatory department in 1990s was in a similar form as the structure when the PRC was established – multiple departments and laws were involved. Moreover, there were specific regulatory office and law-enforcement team on regulating vendors. While it seemed to be strong regulation power, the problem on regulating vendors still existed.

According to Yi Wang’s article on Shanghai City Management,

In 1990s, the former authorities of urban management fell in more than 10 departments including street supervision, urban appearance supervision, urban plan, real estate, garden and urban greens, industry and business, public security and street-level government. In addition to the complicated regulatory roles, there were specific regulatory offices on vendors and other law-enforcement team. The job these departments were doing was just fining vendors but not actually regulating. The people commented that more than ten officers even could not regulate one vendor.


(王翼. “上海城市管理综合执法改革透视.” 上海城市管理 14.1(2005):61-63.Wang, Yi, “Looking at Reform of Centralized Administration on Urban Management in Shanghai”, Shanghai City Management 14.1(2005):61-63)

When it came to early 21st century, the central government announced several executions for reforming regulatory department on urban management which required local government to merge some offices or departments to concentrate regulatory power, and published several regulations about improving centralized administration punishment.

Current government departments are local Food and Drugs Administrations and Urban Green Plant and Appearance Bureau. However, the earliest official document online for illustrating department reform and duties can be only traced back to 2003:

Shanghai Government Department Reform in 2003:


Based on Drugs Administrations, Food and Drugs Administrations would establish, which would continue the duty in drugs administration, but in addition, take charge of administration and coordination in food, health products and make-ups safety. It would be responsible for investigating in major accidents according to laws.


Shanghai Government Department Reform in 2008-2009, detailed reform document on the new Shanghai Urban Green Plant and Appearance Bureau:

The Shanghai Green Plant Bureau and Shanghai Urban Appearance Bureau (as well as its affiliated department Shanghai Urban Management Administration and Law-enforcement Bureau – Chengguan) are integrated into the Shanghai Urban Green Plant and Appearance Bureau. It will also take charge of partial duty of Shanghai Urban Plan Bureau in outdoor advertisement management.

Recent governmental documents about laws related to street food:

Central government emphasizes food safety problem in street food vending and online food business in this year’s report. This is the first time that central government put the key word“摊贩” vendors in their official report. In addition, the central government recently has published a document ““十三五”国家食品安全规划” (National Food Safety Plan for the 13th Five Years), which mentions that the government encourages food vending business but asks for more effort in clarifying the business’s responsibility, modifying the current regulatory system and strengthening regulations. Previously, the Report of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Executions of National Food Safety Law mentioned “摊贩” three times in 2002, 2010 and 2016.

Quotations from governmental documents:


Report of National People’s Congress on Executions of National Food Safety Law (2016)


(1) Food safety is still a serious issue

…Secondly, there are 11.85 million companies who own the license for food production business. In addition, there are many small workshops, vendors and food business. The problem of having so many small, diverse and separated food business is significant. The regulation on these business would be hard.


(8) Some practice of law should be clarified

…Thirdly, the regulations on small food workshops and food vendors according to the new Food Safety Law should be made by provinces and cities. However, there lacks a clear definition on small food workshops and food vendors, which is a difficulty for local government to establish regulatory system.



Report of National People’s Congress


On the fifth meeting of the 12th NPC on Mar. 8th 2017



(2) Improve people’s sense of safety. The NPC examined the execution of three laws related to public security. Push government of different levels to practice the notion of “people oriented” and “safe development,” which would enable people eat, travel and work safely.


Food is the basic for people and safety is the prior consideration for food. The NPC executed the requirement by President Xi that “enforce the strictest standardization, regulation, punishment and accountability” in examining food safety issue in China. Every process from the farm land to the table, the government would emphasize editable agriculture products, milk powder for babies and related areas including kindergartens and schools that provide food in-house, weakness in food safety regulation on food workshops, vendors and online business, in order to give advice on ensuring food safety. The State Council also has highlighted food safety and made the “National Food Safety Plan for the 13th Five Years.”



National Food Safety Plan for the 13th Five Years.


  1. Current Situation


(5) Improve the regulatory system. The government has modified 10 related laws and regulations including National Food Safety Law and Regulations on Drugs for Animals, more than 20 departmental food safety regulations. 6 provinces have published local regulations on food workshops and vendors. [including Shanghai]


  1. Major tasks


(1) Identify the responsibility of a business


Encourage and support the improvement on production process of small food workshops, vendors and businesses.


(3) Improve regulatory system


Push local government to publish local regulations on food workshops and vendors.


(5) Be strict on regulating


On site examination should follow the examination plan of the year, covering all food producers. The emphasized area are rural area, school and kindergarten, subjects are food workshops, vendors and small businesses, process are frozen delivery and storage and other mid to high risk food producers.

Explanations on Related Laws and Regulations

*Some laws and regulations are removed from last report since they clarify in details about the subjects that should not be applied on vendors.

Laws and regulations are of national level and local government level. National level laws and regulations are more general, such as Food Safety Law, which includes:

Chapter I General Provisions第一章 总则

Chapter II Food Safety Risk Monitoring and Assessment第二章 食品安全风险监测和评估

Chapter III Food Safety Standards第三章 食品安全标准

Chapter IV Food Production and Trade第四章 食品生产经营       

Section 1 General Rules第一节 一般规定

Section 2 Production and Trade Process Control第二节 生产经营过程控制      

Section 3 Labels, Instructions and Advertisements第三节 标签、说明书和广告

Section 4 Special Food第四节 特殊食品     

Chapter V Food Inspection第五章 食品检验

Chapter VI Import and Export of Food第六章 食品进出口         

Chapter VII Handling of Food Safety Accidents第七章 食品安全事故处置

Chapter VIII Supervision and Administration第八章 监督管理

Chapter IX Legal Liability第九章 法律责任

Chapter X Supplemental Provisions第十章 附则  


The underlined chapters are more or less related to street food vending in different aspects. However, those regulations are also applied to other food production and business.  The only two articles mentioned street food vending business are all pushing the responsibility of establishing the regulatory system to local government.


  第三十六条 食品生产加工小作坊和食品摊贩等从事食品生产经营活动,应当符合本法规定的与其生产经营规模、条件相适应的食品安全要求,保证所生产经营的食品卫生、无毒、无害,食品药品监督管理部门应当对其加强监督管理。

The local people’s governments at and above the county level shall put small food production or processing workshops and food vendors under comprehensive control, enhance services and unified planning, improve the production and trade environment of them, and encourage and support their improvement of production and trade conditions and operation at fixed places such as centralized trading markets and stores or within the specified temporary business areas and hours.             


The specific measures for the administration of food production or processing workshops and food vendors shall be developed by a province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government.            



第一百二十七条 对食品生产加工小作坊、食品摊贩等的违法行为的处罚,依照省、自治区、直辖市制定的具体管理办法执行。

Article 127 The punishment of the illegal acts of small food production or processing workshops and food vendors shall be governed by the specific administrative measures developed by each province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government.


食品流通许可证管理办法 (2009.7.30) Regulation on Food Circulation License is no longer in practice because of the adoption of Food Safety Law of the PRC.

食品安全国家标准管理办法 (2010.12.1) Regulations on Standardization on Food Safety is a regulation on managing food safety standardization so it does not have direct impact on street vending business.

食品生产许可管理办法 (2015.10.1) Regulations on Food Production Permission clarifies the process for applying for the permission license for food production and administration structure. Since individual business owners are included as subject of the regulation, it could have impact on street food vendors. However, according to the new practice suggestion from central government, street food vendors are more likely to be regulated under a more specific regulation with lower requirements according to local government regulations.

无照经营查处取缔办法  Measures for Investigating, Punishing and Banning Unlicensed Business Operations (2011Revision) is under the supervision of National Industrial and Commercial Management Department. However, the execution on specific cases mainly relies on local government. The Measures do not mention anything specific about street food vending. But if considered in a formal case, most street food vendors should be applied with this measure. The only article could be considered as a related example is about selling agricultural and sideline products by a farmer on a marketplace:

Article 21 The sale of self-produced agricultural and sideline products by a farmer on a marketplace or in an area designated by the local people’s government is not an unlicensed business operation as set out in these Measures.

第二十一条 农民在集贸市场或者地方人民政府指定区域内销售自产的农副产品,不属于本办法规定的无照经营行为。

食品生产经营日常监督检查管理办法 (2016.5.1) Measures for the Administration of the Routine Supervision and Inspection of the Food Production and Operation clarifies the process and corresponding punishment on food production process. It’s related to street food vending business because people couldn’t avoid FDA examinations, even if the check is random.

城市市容和环境卫生管理条例 (2011 version) Regulations on Urban Appearance and Environment was published in 1992, which has limited specific regulation on street food vendors but had a broad cover on the use of public space and the management of urban appearance. There is an article talking about vendors is as following:

Article 26 The competent department shall be responsible for organizing special persons to clean urban market places.                    

第二十六条 城市集贸市场,由主管部门负责组织专人清扫保洁。

The practitioners of the various stalls shall be responsible for their own cleaning.


(Official Translation by


国务院关于进一步推进对集中行政处罚权工作的决定 (2002.8.22) The State’s Council’s Decision on Improving Centralized Administration Punishment. This clarified the power of regulating in different governmental departments and unified the administration execution process. The decision formalized Chengguan team as a governmental department and entitled Chengguan a unified power in multiple areas.



The States Council permits the experiment of centralized administration punishment in Shenzhen in May, 1998. After the central government published the notice on centralized administration punishment in September, 2000, Shanghai local government published the decision on executing centralized administration punishment in urban area. During this period, the government also took “both build and regulate, emphasizing management” as a goal, which helps the nature of construction and management into “urban management”. In February, 2004, the execution was applied to all areas in Shanghai. Shanghai government published “Decision on Executing Centralized Administration Punishment in Shanghai”. This decision brought down the number of departments involved to 5 and simplified government officers for law-enforcement by reducing 20% of the original number. Every district started to have their Chengguan team, which unified the power of urban appearance, plan, green plant, environmental protection, industry and commercial, public security and transportation, real estate and other departments with 78 regulations and laws. The power and field of Chengguan team had a great expansion.

(王翼. “上海城市管理综合执法改革透视.” 上海城市管理 14.1(2005):61-63.Wang, Yi, “Looking at Reform of Centralized Administration on Urban Management in Shanghai”, Shanghai City Management 14.1(2005):61-63)


Regulations of Shanghai Municipality on the Administration of City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation (2009 Amendment) gives more details on street vending in public area. In a word, at the time when the regulation is published, the government are not in favor of street vending, especially when 2010 Shanghai World Expo was approaching. However, with the opinion from central government gradually changing in recent years, there are more measures or decisions published for explaining special cases on street vending, mostly after 2015. The government has adopted an open mind for street vending business now.

第二十五条 市和区(县)人民政府应当合理布局商业配套设施,确定相应的经营场所,供农产品、日用小商品等经营者从事经营。区(县)人民政府应当制定鼓励引导设摊者进入经营场所的措施。





Official Translation by

“The municipal and district/county people’s government shall rationally lay out commercial auxiliary facilities, and determine corresponding business places for operators of farm products and daily groceries to run business. District/county people’s governments shall formulate measures encouraging and guiding peddlers to enter business places.

No unit or individual person shall occupy any road, bridge, pedestrian overpass, underpass or other public places for the purpose of pitching stalls, doing business, and hawking goods, thus affecting the city appearance and environmental sanitation. Any violator of the provisions shall be ordered to make corrections by the CAED, and may be cumulatively imposed a fine of between not less than 50 yuan but not more than 500 yuan. The CAED may temporarily seize the goods that a party hawks and the tools in relation to illegal acts, and request the party to accept handling at the designated spot. After the party has accepted the handling, the CAED shall in a timely manner return the temporarily seized goods and related tools, and transfer the illegal goods to relevant department for handling. The CAED shall appropriately keep the temporarily seized goods. In respect of those goods easy to rot and go bad, the CAED may make proper treatment according to actual situation after retaining evidence.

“No unit or individual person shall occupy any road, bridge, pedestrian overpass, underpass, or other public place to pile goods, affecting city appearance and environmental sanitation. Any violator of the provisions shall be ordered to make corrections by the CAED, and may be imposed a fine of between not less than 50 yuan but not more than 500 yuan.

Those who are approved to temporarily occupy roads and other public places to pile goods or pitch stalls to do business shall keep the surrounding city appearance and environmental sanitation clean and tidy. Violators of the provision shall be ordered to correct by the CAED and may be fined between not less than 50 yuan but not more than 500 yuan.

The persons doing business in the buildings or structures along both sides of this Municipality’s roads or around squares shall not carry out business activities out of doors, windows and exposed walls. Violators of the provision shall be ordered to make corrections by the CAED and may be fined between not less than 50 yuan but not more than 500 yuan.”


上海市人民政府关于禁止生产经营食品品种的公告 (2013.9.29) Government of Shanghai’s Notice on Prohibited Products in Food Business has impact on street food vending business because it prohibited cold cooked food, juice, diary and cake with fresh cream as food for vending, which is closely related to some business such as duck neck and  fresh juice (including sugarcane pomegranate juice and etc.)

上海市食品摊贩经营管理办法 (2015.1.16) Regulation on Street Food Vending Business in Shanghai is the first regulation on street food vendors. It identifies the duty of district-level government, departments (i.e. FDA, Greens and Urban Appearance, Chengguan) and street-level government. In general, the government encourage street food vending business to go into formal marketplace or temporary area that government assigns for vending business. Some of the regulations are covered by the Regulations on Food Safety in Shanghai which is published in 2017, including business requirements, information registration and prohibited items. In addition, the regulation mentioned a part called食品摊贩管理的社会参与和行业自律 (Society’s participation in food vendor management and industry self-discipline):


The government encourage food companies with good credit or professional institutions to participate in managing food vendors and offer food security service for centralized food vending area. The government encourage related food industry associations to enhance food vendor self-discipline, leading the food vending business to a legal operation.

*In the previous report, Eleme has been an example of Internet food company participating in helping food vendors with formalizing their business.

上海市食品药品监督管理局关于在浦东新区内试点施行小餐饮店备案和监督管理的通知 (2016.4.1) Notice on Experiment on Small Eatery Registration and Supervision in Pudong New Area by FDA  Experiment on Small Eatery Registration and Supervision in Pudong New Area is an experiment to lower the requirement for small eatery business since there’s market demand from the public. The goal of the experiment is to simplify the application process – owners could get a registration approval instead of applying for the permission license to operate a small eatery business which has little negative impact on neighborhood, lower risk on food safety and small employment scale. However, according to a media report form (, only two eateries in Pudong got registered in the experimental period of six months. since the requirement is still a problem for owners, especially for getting approval from all nearby residents and not producing lampblack. This practice is commented as a failure.

上海市食品药品监督管理局关于印发《上海市食品经营许可管理实施办法(试行)》的通知 (2016.12.23)

Notice on Executing Temporary Regulation on Food Business Permission in Shanghai. It describes the process and requirements for applying for the Food Business Permission. Street food venders are categorized in the group “Food seller – wholesale/retail or on-site production and sale”. 食品销售经营者-批发、零售、批发兼零售/现制现售

上海市食品安全条例 (2017.3.20) Regulations on Food Safety in Shanghai is the latest government regulation on food safety and the most detailed document on street food vending business.

第四十四条 食品生产加工小作坊、食品摊贩从事食品生产经营活动,应当符合《食品安全法》和本条例规定的与其生产经营规模、条件相适应的食品安全要求,保证所生产经营的食品卫生、无毒、无害。

No. 44 Any business of food production workshops and food vendors should obey “Food Safety Law” and food safety requirements in accordance to the business scale and condition clarified in this regulation to ensure the food safety.

第四章 食品生产加工小作坊和食品摊贩

Chapter 4, Part 2, Food Production Workshops and Food Vendors

  第六十二条 区人民政府应当按照方便群众、合理布局的原则,确定相应的固定经营场所,并制定相关鼓励措施,引导食品摊贩进入集中交易市场、店铺等固定场所经营。



No. 62: The district-level government should follow the rule of making the people convenient and locating the vendors properly to find a fixed business area for vendors and have policy for encouraging the business, helping food vendors set up their business in fixed area such as market and shops.

District-level government can have temporary area in certain time period for food vendors to operate the business according to needs. District-level government should give facilities support to vendors. The area and time chosen should not affect safety, traffic, urban appearance and life of residents.

Food vendors who have business in temporary area in certain time period should register information at district/street-level government. Or related department should give vendors information publicity card for their business, and share the information with local market supervision department, Green Plant and Urban Appearance department and Chengguan.

  第六十三条 食品摊贩从事食品经营,应当具备下列条件:


No. 63 Food vendor should meet these requirements for food business:

  1. The stand should be more than 25 meters away from public toilets, septic tank, septic tank, sewage tank, garbage dump or other pollutions;
  2. The stand should have the equipment for producing, processing, storing, washing, disinfecting and refrigerating, which can accommodate the product variety and quantity;
  3. The stand should have cleaning facilities and equipment for water supply and drainage for washing tools, containers and food.
  4. The stand should have a dump container which has a lid to prevent rain, dust, pollution, insects and flies.
    No stands would be allowed within 100 meters from kindergarten and schools.
      第六十四条 食品摊贩从事食品经营,应当遵循下列要求:

No. 63 Food vendor should meet these requirements for food business:

  1. Vendor should show effective health certificate;
  2. Vendor should show the temporary business publicity card, and operate the business according to the record on the card;
  3. Vendor is not allowed to sell any raw food or any food that does not meet the requirement in law, regulation or food safety standards;
  4. Vendor should use safe, harmless and clean wrapping material, containers and tools;
  5. Vendor should keep personal health and cleanness. They should wash hands and wear clean clothes and caps for working;
  6. The water should meet the national standard on drinking water. The detergent should be safe and harmless, to prevent the food being polluted.
  7. Vendor should meet any other legal requirements.

Vendors should do their business in the temporary arear and time period assigned by local government, follow the rules on urban appearance management and keep the environment clean.
  第六十五条 食品摊贩应当保留载有所采购的食品、食品添加剂、食品相关产品的票据凭证。票据凭证保存期限不得少于三十日。

No. 65 Food vendors should keep the receipt for ingredients and additives for food production for at least 30 days.
  第六十六条 区市场监督管理部门应当加强对食品摊贩遵守食品安全管理规定的指导和监督管理。

No. 66 District-level government on market supervision should instruct and regulate food vendors to follow the food safety regulations.

Chengguan should regulate the food vendors according to urban appearance rules.

County-level government and street-level government should help the regulatory departments to regulate illegal food vending businesses.

Organizations On Behalf of Street Vendors:

There is no such organization in China helping street vendors.

However, in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, the government cooperate with a private service company called “Vendor’s Company” which asks vendors to pay for deposit of 1000RMB for a cart and charges vendor 200RMB per month for management fee. Some people say it’s good for regulation but there’s also some voice arguing that it is monopoly. (Source: Wenzhou Library, Online)

The another case is in Shanghai in 2013. It’s an illegal “organization” that charges vendors management (“protection”) fee and help them deal with government officers.

Media Report:

记者举报上海杨浦区摊贩占道 城管:有保护伞 我不会碰

The Journalist Report to Chengguan in Yangpu about Illegal Street Vendors

Chengguan: There’s Protection Power. I will not regulate them


Date: Oct. 31st, 2013


Abstract: Local residents in Wujiaochang Area had been keep complaining about street food business but no governmental departments took care of the situation. In the interview, the journalist saw some Chengguan stay nearby but they pretended to be not noticing the stands and claimed that they were not the people taking charge of this area.


In the scene, you can see that at the backdoor of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics on Wuchuan road, there is a 10-square-meter large stand on the street, almost taking all the space. Passengers can walk on the road for bikes. The vendor says that they are also having a hard life- they pay 6000 RMB protection fee to “Lao Si” to keep their business.


During the secret interview, “Lao Si” says in phone that the stands do not need any license as long as they pay the money. “The first department who approve my stands are the street-level government and Chengguan. If the Industry and Commerce Bureau or other departments blames you, you just say it’s me who operate the stand, and I will keep you fine.”


Selected Articles Talking about Street Vending in Shanghai through History


Street vending in China has a long history back to ancient times. Considering the history of Shanghai and China, the general classification on the period is:

1843 -1949:

Shanghai became a treaty port in 1843 (上海开埠). The international trade opened and the city became a commercial center. People from other provinces came to Shanghai to become a vendor since the market was open.

-《近代上海摊贩群体研究 (1843-1949)》Li, Liming (Research on Street Vendors in Modern Shanghai 1843-1949)

- Related chapters include the four stages of street vending business in Shanghai, classification and location of stands and detailed analysis on vendors (origin, previous job, living situation and etc.)

In this book, the author mentioned《商民协会组织条例》(Regulation on Business and  People Associations) published by Kuomintang in 1928 which covered regulation on vendors’ associations. There is a Japanese scholar Hajime Kaneko金子肇 who researched on the relationship between the vendor class, business associations, and the government at that time.

Media Resource:

旧上海一个摊贩每天收入最多6000元 可养活3-5人

A vendor’s Income Could Be 6000 Yuan in Old Shanghai, Which Could Afford Life for 3-5 People (Note: great inflation in price at that time)

Date: Oct. 31st, 2014

Source: [origin: Nanjing Daily]

The article discusses about the life of street vendors in Shanghai after 1843. It says that vendors need license in concessions at that time so more of them on in Chinese sections. There were many second-hand good vendors but street food vendors were more than them. In addition, it introduces regulators and income level on street vending business.



In addition, whether you select to be fixed stand or moving stand should be taken into consideration. Although the rent and tax were huge burden for fixed vendors, the moving vendors were in danger of being expelled by the police (Public Security Bureau). At that time, the police were playing the role as Chengguan. When the police came, you could see the vendors running away. It is common to see the police scold, abuse, extort or even beat vendors.


More of the vendors were selling vegetable, fruit and snack, which are daily necessity. In crowded business area, you could see snack stands everywhere. There are breakfast, pastry, sides, and snacks such as baked pancake, fried dough, fried dumplings, fried sesame ball and congee. In a national painting daily in 1910, people describe the scene of selling wonton: “People make sound with their should pole to sell wonton. You could find the vendors on the wharf. One yuan for one is a good price, the meat is fresh and it tastes delicious.” Once Zhang Ailin wrote: “In the lanes and streets, the voice of vendors is everywhere. ‘Tofu—Hua’ , the word tofu is very fast, and they prolong the pronunciation of  ‘Hua’”.

1949 – 1978:

This period is after the PRC is established when at first the general economy was recovering but then moved into the planned economy period. During the recovering years from 1949 to 1952, the market was still open for vendors and regulated by the police. However, moving forward to 1956, after the planned economy policy was executed, the vendors were gradually eliminated since everything was allocated directly by government.

Liu, Lingling 刘玲玲《1949-1952年上海摊贩管理工作研究》Research on Regulating Street Vendors in Shanghai 1949 – 1952. Shanghai Normal University. 2012

Quotations: (Directly quoted from Abstract, might be some vocabulary errors)

“So from June 1949 to August 1950, the Public Security Bureau of Shanghai carried out some preliminary tightening and restrictive measures to specify the focused place for stall-keepers doing business, make up some stall-keepers’ groups, assess license tax, tax on stall-keepers. From September 1950 to the end of 1952, under the leadership of industrial and commercial Bureau, according to the historical tend, combined with various political movements, found out the stall-keepers’ situation, grasped the general information, replaced the licenses, overhauled the street vendors and other management.”

Media Resource:


Management on Vending Business in Shanghai in Post-liberation Period

(Author: Zhang, Chen, who works at Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, Archives Department)

Date: Oct. 9th, 2014

Source: Shanghai Archives Bureau



In Dec. 1949, there were 84623 vendors, and this number increased to 190000 by 1955. Among the newly added venders, migrants took 45%, of which 80% were farmers. The existence of large groups of vendors brought some negative effect on traffic, social security, taxation and etc. of Shanghai.


Shanghai local government started to regulate vending business, saying “a regulatory action to ensure social security, traffic and urban appearance but takes care of vendors’ business and daily life” as the direct goal and “helping regular development of taxation and the industry of business” as secondary goal. At the beginning, the police (Public Security Bureau) was responsible for the action. On Jun. 26th, 1949, the Public Security Bureau released “Regulations on Vendors” to ensure legal business as well as to regulate market order and traffic. It said “people should take action, emphasize education, strengthen regulation, limit development, consider different cases and reform gradually.” The details of the regulation include:

  1. Fixed stand vendors should submit the application form to the corresponding Public Security Bureau to get the approval for license for legal business operation. The license should be put at an obvious place for check purpose, and it should not be lent to others.
  2. The area for vending business should follow the assignment by the government. The area should not exceed length by 1.3 meters and width by 1 meter.
  3. Vendors should be responsible for cleaning the stall and surroundings.
  4. To avoid the market being disturbed by spalpeens, the vendors have the right to report to the Public Security Bureau. If it is the fact, the Public Security Bureau should protect the vendors.
  5. Without permission, vendors cannot build any additional architecture or use tent. Vendors are prohibited from ruining public buildings and streets. Vendors are not allowed to sell any unsafe or illegal products, bargain for an extraordinarily high price or find a new place for business by themselves.
  6. If vendors violate those regulations, they would face punishment including “warning”, “temporarily suspending business”, “some amount of fine” and “cancel business license or permanently suspending business”.



With the development of regulation system and public security management, Shanghai started to tax on vendors’ license. On Mar. 1st, 1950, the government announced the establishment of Shanghai Vendor Regulation Committee, including people from Public Security Bureau, Finance Bureau, Civil Affairs Bureau and Industry and Business Bureau. They set an office of the committee at the Public Security Bureau. There were subordinate committees in each district, including people from corresponding district-level departments, appointing the director general of district-level Public Security Bureau as the leader. District-level Public Security Bureau took charge of execution. They estimated the income level of each stand and taxed them. There was a democratic system on estimating income – reporting income by vendors and taking public opinions, so that the government could know the number of vendors, capital, business area, sales and etc. thoroughly for taxation. On Nov. 29th, 1950, the government announced a “Temporary Regulation on Vendors in Shanghai”, which adjusted some regulations. The regulations asked vendors who were in food, medicines, barber and laundry business should get the certificate from local health departments to start the application for license. It also added several new lines about not allowing scales that hadn’t been checked by government, for which the punishment included 1. warning and education, 2. suspending business for 1 – 10 days, 3. a fine of 2000 to 50000 yuan (old), 4. cancelling the license and permanently suspending the business, 5. taking to the person to court when necessary.

1978 – Now:

In the more than 30 years after Reform and Opening-up, the government encouraged private business and individual economy as a supplement to public owned economy (1982). In this period, the regulation system developed.

Jin, Lin 金凌. 上海流动摊贩管理现状与对策分析 Analysis on The Current Situation of Regulating Moving Vendors in Shanghai. Fudan University. 2010.

(The author briefly introduces the overall situation after Reform and Opening-up in Chapter 2.1.1.) Jin concludes three reasons for the recession in vending business: 1. the society shifted emphasis onto knowledge, and those with higher education degrees had their salary improved. 2. with production capacity developing, consumers have more choices and quality in formal stores. 3. with lots of SOEs merged or shut down, the unemployed came into vending business which made the business more competitive.



Many of individual vendors were not registered at the Administration for Industry and Commerce. The vendors were everywhere on the streets, doing small businesses. Street-level government and Resident Committee would ask them to do business in a specific area and charge them administration fee. During that period, the government regarded the phenomenon as incenting economy and promoting the market so that did not interfere with the vending business very much.

进入21世纪以来, 我国城市化进程加快, 由于农业耕作效率的提高,城乡收入差距的持续扩大, 大量的农村青壮年富余劳动力加速涌向城市,由于各种主客观方面的限制,除了一部分成为“农民工”外,更多的人只能选择从事流动摊贩这一行当。由于流动摊贩的经营产生外部不经济性如环境污染、影响市容及公共交通安全、扰乱经济秩序等,各地政府部门也从这一时期开始实施反复取缔的政策。

When it comes to the 21st century, the urbanization of China has been accelerating. Because the agricultural production becomes more and more efficient, the income gap between urban and rural areas is more severe. Large amount of young labor from rural areas come to cities. Some of them become “migrant workers,” but the majority have to become vendors, due to some limitations. The negative externality that vending business has caused includes environmental pollution, urban appearance, public transportation safety and economy disorder, which makes the government to enforce strict policy on street vending.

Efforts to Ease Congestion Threaten Street Food Culture in Southeast Asia

“Southeast Asia is famous for its street food, delighting tourists and locals alike with tasty, inexpensive dishes like spicy som tam (green papaya salad) in Bangkok or sizzling banh xeo crepes in Ho Chi Minh City. But major cities in three countries are strengthening campaigns to clear the sidewalks, driving thousands of food vendors into the shadows and threatening a culinary tradition.” reported by MIKE IVES, on The New York Times.

( Click on the picture to see the full story).

Menghua Street Wonton Reopened in Shanghai

Menghua Street Wonton was located on a small lane called Menghua Street in the old city area. The wonton stall was owned by two sisters who have already be in their 80s, and operated by the whole family. It was popular among lots of Shanghainese for the authentic flavor. However, it had to shut down the business for couple of months since the stall didn’t apply for a license for food business.

The first news report introduces the history and background of Menghua Street Wonton and reveals the reasons for it being shut down two years ago. Then the report analyzes the case from “Social Governance 社会治理” perspective to emphasize how to balance human relationship and law(人情和法理) and take benefit from the market.

This second report shows the how Menghua Street Wonton is related to politics, from a small case to a general view. Many Chinese political terms are used in response to current government strategy and direction to emphasize the reform.

People’s Daily: 是总理喊话让停业两年的梦花街馄饨复出吗?
Is it Premier’s appeal that saves the Menghua Street Wonton which has been closed for two years? 

Keyword: social governance (社会治理) , balance human relationship and law(人情和法理), innovation in governance(制度创新), marketization(市场化).

For the question of basic-level social governance, as a problem remains for more than 20 years, the government is facing a dilemma. On one hand, the family of Menghua Street Wonton started their own business after they lost their jobs, using a bowl of wonton to support the life of three families in difficulty for 20 years, which is a form of mass entrepreneurship. On the other hand, doing business without license violates the law and public safety. Asking Menghua Street Wonton to shut down is a way to protect the benefit of the majority. There is no ground for blame when executing the law without considering human relationship.

Human relationship and law are the controversy that the government always face in basic-level social governance. To solve the problem, the government need courage, as well as the wisdom to execute law in a moderate and acceptable way.

The small wonton shop reflects the big problem of social governance. Premier Li Keqiang appeals for these business when he visits Shanghai in Nov. 2016, using Menghua Street Wonton and A Da Fried Scallion Pancake as examples to say that those small food business could face problems like getting a legal license. “should be more thoughtful of the people involved and seek ways to achieve reciprocal benefits. Governance should not be labeled as “indifferent” and should have more sentiment on the people.” Law could not be changed, safety should be secured and harmony must be reached as well. For the case, the government should bring innovation into governance. As regulators, the government should have empathy, and take advantage of the “invisible hand” – the market.

Shanghai local government has spent lots of effort on this case. Before the Premier appeals, they made several backup plans for Menghua Street Wonton to come back, hoping that their good will of serving the people can actually help hem and stimulate the market. Finally after two years, Shanghai local government found a “hand of the market.”

People involved in this case says that it was marketization that helped Menghua Street Wonton reopen. “The government help people connect different side in the market and the enterprise interact with regulatory departments. People work together to save the traditional food of Shanghai.” This enterprise is Eleme. “In the past year, we communicated with the owner and the government for dozens of times. I was on spot for so many times,” said Eleme’s special assistant of CEO Zhen Yao.

Zhen Yao used to eat Menghua Street Wonton in childhood. “The stuffing is full, the soup is delicious and the pastry is good. I have been eating it since I was little kid so I do hope pass the flavor down to the next generation.” It’s really common to take away raw wontons in Shanghai. They are thinking under the background of “Internet,” enabling customers to buy Menghua Street Wonton only on Eleme, which would help the brand to achieve better performance in marketization.

Sina Finance: 阿大葱油饼、梦花街馄饨,这两家小食店为何让总理念念不忘?
Why do the Premier think of the two street food stands, A Da Fried Scallion Pancake and Menghua Street Wonton?

Keyword: streamlining government and delegating authorities, combining regulation and freedom and optimize governmental service(“放管服”) , reform, innovation in governance(制度创新), governmental service(政务服务)

Premier Li clarified that streamlining government and delegating authorities, combining regulation and freedom and optimize governmental service are the important content of the new reform, which is a great transition of the job of the government, as well as a core problem of pushing economic system reform and dealing with the relationship between the government and the market.

‘Under the complex international background and the stressful domestic economic situation,” to release the power of the market and innovation of the society by the new reform. This is the great potential of Chinese economy.’

Premier Li Keqiang says that since the government is elected, we have canceled and give the power to lower level government on administration approval for more than 618 cases, pushed the reform in business sector, taken innovative regulatory methods and focused on improving governmental service to release the power of the market and innovation of the society and help new business grow and traditional business upgrade.

He asked local department and government should consider the situation thoroughly to reform themselves, and then take more powerful action to push the new reform.

The Menghua Street Wonton and A Da Fried Scallion Pancake that always mentioned by Premier Li represent his higher expectation on the new reform.”

Tangjiawan Wet Market, Huangpu District, Shanghai

Tangjiawan wet market locates in Laoximen area in Huangpu District, near Tangjiawan Road, Zhaozhou Road and Ji’an Road. It closed on Feb. 24th, 2017 due to urban construction plan. The new location would be nearby, on Ji’an Road. Tangjiawan is one of the earliest wet markets in Shanghai.

Media Report: This wet market in Shanghai has been 114 years old. Let’s say “Goodbye” to it.

Published by: WeChat public account – 东方网 (eastday021)


Following paragraphs are selected translated version of the post:

Vendors and residents are frustrated about the fact that the wet market is shut down. Vendor Mr. Zhu moved his stand from Ji’an Road wet market to there more than 10 years ago. “The vendors who I know, none of them leaves Tangjiawan wet market in the past more than 10 years,” said Mr. Zhu. He looked at the pork stand and said, “During the Spring Festival, that vendor could sell 7 to 8 pigs, and the fish vendor can sell almost 150kg yellow fish at most. The business here is very good so that none of us are willing to go.”


Mrs. Qian lives near Luxun Park( Hongkou). Every week, as part of life after she retired, she and her neighbors would go together to Tangjiawan with their small cart for grocery shopping, which has been last for more than 10 years. They took No. 18 Bus to Tangjiawan for fresh grocery, and then go to the E-Mart for milk, flavorings, toilet paper and etc. “We are used to this life. If the wet market is gone, where should we go for grocery shopping?”

Mr. Wang, who is 82 years old, also loves the wet market. Although he and his family moved from Tangjiawan to Zhabei Park, he and his wife always come back, not only for grocery shopping, but also reunion with their old neighbors.


“The popularity of Tangjiawan has become a unique local culture,” said a retired high school teacher Mrs. Wang who always goes there to buy grocery. There are so many retired people nearby and meet each other at Tangjiawan. Many of them are strangers before, they start to know each other, and finally become friends. “If the wet market is gone, people have to go to different places. It’s hard for them to meet each other again.”

A wet market for more than a century: Tangjiawan

According to the local history documents, Tangjiawan wet market was built in 1903, which is the oldest wet market among all 22 indoor wet markets that were built before the liberation of Shanghai, even 17 years older than the famous Sanjiaodi wet market (Hongkou). At first, the wet market was a floor in wood structure.


According to other documents, the Chinese Sections of Shanghai decided to build an indoor wet market near Tangjia Lane outside Ximen (for today it’s called Laoximen). One of the officer of the army, He Fenglin appointed the leader of a department which supervised the constructions in Nanshi (now Huangpu), Shanghai, Yao Zhizu to call for bids and be responsible for this project. Shanghai Wangjinji Construction got the bid and built Tangjiawan wet market. The wet market was in wood structure and was divided into more than 30 areas. Because they intentionally reduced the work and used inferior material for the construction, the building crazed after few years of use. One of the primary beam crashed and led to a severe accident in which more than 40 people died and 100 people injured. This was the most severe accident right after Nanjing National Government Shanghai City Hall was established. After that, the government paid for reconstruction for the armored concrete structure.

After Shanghai was liberated, the government reconstructed Tangjiawan for several times. In 1950s and 1960s Tangjiawan was like a wet market on the road. Vegetables, meat, fish, shrimp, crabs and etc. were directly put on the iron shelves covered by felt. Vendors and buyers were exposed to sunshine or rain – the environment of the market was not that good. The wet market moved into the current building in 1970s and 1980s.


It’s said that to know a city, the best way is to go to the wet market. The hidden place in crowded city might look not as shiny as other places, even a little bit dirty, but the most basic and grass-root life is there. The relationship of people becomes closer because of “food/eating”. Either vendors or buyers, their effort, achievement, joy or tears is connected by the small wet market, which adds another scene to the city.

(Origin: 新闻晨报: Shanghai Morning Post by Jiefang Daily, Mar. 25th, 2015)

Social Media Discussion

  1. Weibo user @井蟾斋主posted on WeChat the full album for Tangjiawan wet market. From the dialog going under the original post, there is more about the life in lanes, back to around 1970s from people’s discussion about some card games.

Source: WeChat public account:  井蟾齋迂語

Content of the post:
@井蟾斋主:  The wet market with a hundred years’ history comes to an end. After two years’ struggle in moving due to city construction, most of the buildings in Tangjiawan area are turned down. The “isolated” island in this area, the Tangjiawan Wet Market, which was opened in 1903, have to shut down in a few days, on Feb. 23rd, 2017. Although people know that the market is to be closed in a couple days, the stand owners are still there for their business, and there are many customers. The lane between stands, which can only allow two people pass, is crowded. The scene is as usual –  people are selling vegetables, meat and fish in the last days of their business.

@老Q识途: It will be closed in the afternoon of Feb. 23rd, but there will be a replacement for Tangjiawan Wet Market soon.

@井蟾斋主: The new address will be at the cross of Ji’an Road and Zhaozhou Road.

Featured in Academia!

Shanghai Streetfood has been featured at DESIS China Spring Festival, an yearly initiatives of Chinese school involved in the Design for Sustainability and Social Innovation (DESIS) network.

During the DESIS-China Seminar held in Jiangnan University on May 26th, a showcase of project that has connection with social innovation practice has been presented.  Our Shanghai Streetfood has also been featured, with the following presentation

Open PDF fullscreen

Street Peddler Beaten and Paralyzed By Shanghai Chengguan

A street food vendor in Sanya, Hainan was beaten by a chengguan after an argument broke out over the position of her cart and its obstruction of traffic.

It is controversial videos and photos like this that inform netizens of the underlying issues and rising tensions between the authoritative forces and street vendors.They are forced to defend themselves against officials while trying to survive in an environment that no longer sustains them.


French Students Sell Crepes In Shanghai, Flee From Chengguan

Two French study abroad students of Tongji University  set up a cart selling crepes near their campus in 2011. Their stand gained attention from both bloggers and chengguan authorities, and quickly got banned from conducting any business in China. After their story went viral, the French students became a lasting example for future expat street stands.

Discarded Food Waste Slop Recycled Into Cheap Cooking Oil

China Smack posted repulsive images of gutter oil that had been ‘refined’ to be reused and resold as cheap cooking oil for restaurants that were trying to cut costs. Street food vendors have been notoriously known to use this oil, posing a danger especially because the majority of street food is deep-fried.

Man Offers $16,112 Reward to Test Youtiao

China Daily reported about a man named Wang Dawei, a youtiao street food vendor from Weifang in East Chinas Shandong province, who offered a 100,000RMB reward to any individual who could disprove his claim that his youtiao was not aluminum-free. Many people know that the secret ingredient local street food vendors use to make their youtiao extra-puffy and crispy is aluminum sulfate crystals, a highly toxic ingredient if consumed too often or at large amounts.

“Using a unique technique, Wang’s youtiao onlycontain 0.7 milligram of aluminum per kilogram. This not only reaches the international standard of 100 milligram per kilogram, but isalso lower than the ceiling of 10 milligram per kilogram for fried food issued by the European Union.”