A recent survey of eight major Chinese cities by Meituandianping, China’s largest online urban guide, shows that 45 percent of people's spending in southwest China's Chengdu, a city known for its burgeoning tourism and pandas, happens at night, followed by Shenzhen (44.6 percent), Changsha (43.4 percent) and Guangzhou (42.8 percent). However, the whole market for night-time economy in Chengdu is still behind Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The night-time economy includes activities generally done after 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning.
According to Meituandianping's index on total night-time spending, Chengdu was rated 54.8, only about half of Beijing (100). Chengdu's night-time spending peaks between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. – after people finish their 9-to-5 rut. "I have no time during the day – I'm working all the time," said Qin Jing, a young female working for a local branch of a commercial bank. Qin told CGTN that she dines out frequently and goes to pubs and clubs on weekends. Besides, she can only exercise after work because it is too hard in the morning or during the lunch break. "Some of my colleagues have tried to exercise during their lunch break but it affected their work efficiency in the afternoon," said Qin. To attract night-time traffic, shopping malls in Chengdu hold different events, especially during the summer. For example, Chengdu's International Financial Square (IFS), one of the largest high-end malls in the city, has a small-scale carnival right at the mall's entrance by late June. The mall also plans to roll out a themed evening market in August.
While Meituandianping's survey showed that people in Chengdu spend heavily on pubs and Karaoke during the night – doubling Beijing's night spending in Karaoke and twice as much as Shenzhen's night spending in pubs, experts say Chengdu’s nightlife is becoming more diversified, mainly because of an increasingly competitive workplace. "Nowadays, young people also want to better themselves after work by attending skill training, going to the gym, and partaking in cultural events like movies and operas. So, in addition to eating and drinking, Chengdu's nightlife is now more diversified," said Xie Ling, Chengdu managing director for JLL, one of the world-five leading commercial real estate service firms.
Xie said the nightlife in Chengdu has been changing from business outings to more self-enriching activities. In the city's famous Wide and Narrow Alley, which can attract over two million people a day during peak seasons, pubs and bars offer live music, and even a library and bookstores are open 24 hours.