According to Ele.me, a large Chinese food delivery app, the demand for food delivery during night hours has surged substantially since June this year. Several third and fourth-tier cities from across the country have seen an increase in the number of home delivery during night hours by at least 60 percent year on year.
To further facilitate the nighttime economy, many cities are undertaking various initiatives. Reportedly, Beijing plans to launch at least one nighttime commercial area in each of its districts. It also wants to increase the number of 24/7 convenience stores substantially by 2022.
Likewise, Tianjin plans to construct six nighttime commercial blocks, which would include Italian-style streets, food streets, squares, and parks for the entertainment of people. The city also plans to conduct light shows alongside Haihe River, the country's folk-art performances, night carnivals along with increasing the operational hours of the shopping malls and restaurants. Additionally, Shanghai has recently allowed visitors to take nighttime tours of Shanghai Zoo to experience the nocturnal behavior of animals. Early as April this year, the city also announced its plan of promoting 24-hour movie theaters.
Although the prospects of the nighttime economy in the country looks promising, some challenges remain in infrastructure, public safety, local transit, and additional operational costs like electricity and water.
To address these issues, cities across China have taken numerous steps. For instance, Beijing has vowed to prolong the working hours of its subway lines on weekends. Also, additional night buses will be operational at almost 25 bus lines in the city's main commercial areas. Moreover, Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province, in its endeavor to cut down the financial burden of shopping malls, has reduced the electricity charges of the nighttime operational stores by 0.2 yuan per kilowatt-hour.
Looking at the above points, it seems that despite some impending challenges, the government’s efforts to foster a robust nighttime economy will spur domestic consumption, increase tourism, and enhance job opportunities. Moreover, this additional avenue of entertainment and economic activities will also pay dividends shortly by further accelerating the country's openness and vitality, which is an essential element of overall high-quality growth.