China encourages big cities to build more shopping centres

A shopping mall complex in Beijing. The Ministry of Commerce said it would encourage cities to build at least five to ten "multi-functional" shopping centres this year.
A shopping mall complex in Beijing. The Ministry of Commerce said it would encourage cities to build at least five to ten "multi-functional" shopping centres this year.PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China will encourage its big cities to build more shopping centres this year to meet the growing consumption demands of local residents, according to new government guidelines.

The Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday that it would encourage cities with a permanent resident population of more than 10 million to each build at least 10 "multi-functional" shopping centres this year, which could include childcare, entertainment and restaurants.

Cities with a permanent resident population of five to 10 million might build five such centres or more, it said in a statement posted on its website.

It said that currently available consumer service networks were unable to meet the growing consumption demands of local residents, adding that it would encourage private investors and retail chains to participate in construction of such centres.

Consumption levels in China's lower-tier cities have been rising faster than Beijing and Shanghai due to industrialisation and rapid urbanisation in the last ten years.