Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

Sidewalk informality: Street vending regulation in China

Street vending represents a vital and growing aspect of the urban informal economy that is often the subject of municipal regulatory efforts that seek to control, confine or extinguish it. In the People’s Republic of China, recent developments and discussions on vendor rights and regulation underscore important socio-political and economic changes and concerns around the role of the informal economy in this country. As more of China’s rural poor enter urban areas and turn to the streets to survive, the number of unlicensed vendors has risen and municipal efforts at increased regulation and enforcement of street vending licensure have been enacted. These developments within the context of China’s ‘state-capitalist economy’ provide a fertile field for research into the informal economy, use and re-appropriation of public space, and regulation of a previously marginalized commercial activity. This paper draws from primary and secondary sources to provide an overview of street vending in China and consider the implications of recent regulatory developments and public dialogue that strive to formalize the informal.

[Download paper]

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This entry was posted on Friday, 24 September 2021 by in Poverty and inequality, Urban issues and tagged , , , .
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