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Hanzheng Street

RELEASE: August-22 2017  06:51:36 CHECK: LIKE: 0

Hanzheng Street is a time-honored street. Located in Qiaokou District of Wuhan, it's a busy petty commodities market in Hankou, has a colorful record in the history of Wuhan, known as the business lifeline in early development period of the city. Hanzheng Street is experiencing reconstruction and upgrading works, including overall construction as international financial service centre, development of themed shopping park project, construction of "Eye of Han River", the highest river-across sky wheel world has ever seen, and so on.

History of Development

In early 20th century, with the opening of Hankou port, establishment of concessions and railroad, commercial centre of Hankou gradually moved to the coast of Yangtze River, Hanzheng Street evolved into a petty commodities market. In 1979, Hanzheng Street was restored to a wholesale market of petty commodities, more than 100 job-awaiting youth and unemployed citizens became the first shop owners; since 1989, annual sales volume of Hanzheng Street as a wholesale market hit 700 million yuan; since 1990, tens of millions of Yuan have been co-financed by the government and the wholesalers, to build and reconstruct several trade buildings; as a result, Hanzheng Street was substantially transformed in terms of traffic condition and business environment.

 

Panoramic Model of Hanzheng Street

 

The marketplace of Hanzheng Street features west section of grains, cooking oil, cotton and sundry goods; east section of crude drugs, ginseng & cubilose, jewelry and pawn shops; central section of most booming business in terms of dense department, cloth, delicacies, paper and like shops of different sizes. In the 3rd year of Emperor Tongzhi in Qing Dynasty (1864), Zhong Qianjun, the magistrate of Hanyang Town, led the construction of Hankou fort, and opened eight gates of yudai, Juren, Youyi, Xunli, Dazhi, Tongji etc, surrounded by deep moat, linked with bridges, for deployment of garrison and resistance against floodwater. Today, Baoshou Stone Bridge built in the 14th year of Emperor Daoguang in Qing Dynasty is still there, which was called "Shi Qiao Kou", rather than the only historic witness of "Qiaokou (Bridge Gate)".

 

 

In the 17th century, Hanzheng Street was hundreds of meters in length, when revival and prosperity of commerce drove the expansion of the marketplace and street; at that time, He Street was between Yangjiahe and Wucai Lane of Hanzheng Street, Back Street was in downstream Datong Lane, Jia Street was in downstream Shengji Lane, Small Jia Street was between downstream Jia Street and Jijiazui; numerous side streets and by-lanes were linked with each other in all directions with Hanzheng Street as the artery, to form a burgeoning riverside commercial district in Hankou. According to official statistic during the ruling of Emperor Daoguang in Qing Dynasty, this busy downtown area includes 32 streets and 64 lanes; the boom of water transport with Hanshui wharf drove the later flourishing ports in Wuchang and Hanyang; trade market of Hanzheng Street was extended from the wharf to He Street, and then from He Street to Center Street, leading to the in-depth development of wholesale market in Wuhan.

Geography & Traffic

Having a recorded history of over 500 years, and seated in the home of cloud and yellow crane, and the junction of Yangtze River and Han River, Hanzheng Street is a brilliant market pearl in the hinterland of central China; the trade center of Hanzheng Street extends from Sanmin Road and Jijiazui in Jianghan District in the east, to Wusheng Road in Qiaokou District in the west, adjoins Riverfront Avenue in the south (Riverfront Avenue is the west of Jijiazui, and Riverside road in the east of Jijiazui), to Zhongshan Avenue in the north, it's an administrative region comprising of 78 streets and lanes including Hanzheng Street, Duofu Road, Dajia Street, Chanfgdi Street, Xin'an Street, Baoqing Street, Sanshu Street, Yongning Lane, Wan'an Lane etc, land area is up to 2.56 square kilometers, including 6 sub-district offices; the trade market consists of 10 specialized markets of clothing, leather products/bags/suitcases, household appliances, shoes, ceramic products, cloth, small commodities, plastic products, handiworks, non-staple food etc, total market area is more than 600000m2, involving over 60000 types of goods, more than 100000 market practitioners, 22 passenger and freight stations, 276 freight lines of more than 500 shuttle buses, with daily throughput of more than 400-ton goods, 13200 self-employed traders, average daily flow of 160000 shoppers/times, and up to 160000 shoppers/times per day in peak season.

As a commercial centre in early development period of Wuhan, Hanzheng Street has a colorful record in the history of Wuhan. Today, East Hanzheng Street and West Hanzheng Street are built in Wuhan. Reconstruction and upgrading works of Hanzheng Street, development of themed shopping park project, construction of "Eye of Han River", the river-across sky wheel project, and many other development projects, add new sights to Hanzheng Street. On March 15, 2011, the trade market of Hanzheng Street was moved to Hankou North Market in Huangpi District under the guidance of Wuhan Municipal Committee of the CPC.

Hanzheng Street Today

 

 

Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival, a picture depicting the throng of crowds going to the market along Bian River in Northern Song Dynasty, is still the hot topic in our time, we can hardly imagine that this is the case with Hanzheng Street today, which is a trade market of 1.67 square kilometers, dense distributed near 100 streets and lanes linked with each other in all directions, including Upper He Street, Lower He Street, Dajia Street, Xiaojia Street etc; on both sides of these streets and lanes, over 100000 buyers speaking different dialects come and go freely in each day, they travels around the trade market, as if a colorful picture of market-going folks.

Not only these buyers speaking different dialects, there're a large group of active Zhejiang merchants on Hanzheng Street, they're traders of knitted goods from Wenzhou, sellers of clothing accessories from Yiwu, merchants of plastic products from Taizhou, together with traders of shoes and hats from Fujian, market players of bags and suitcases from Hunan, cloth traders of booming business from Henan; in addition, dealers speaking different dialects in Wuhan city cluster, including Daye, Ezhou, Yingcheng, Dawu, Qianjiang cities/counties etc, trade well and bargain passionately in the market; on Hanzheng Street, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hunan dialect and Sichuan language are heard everywhere, and it's not unusual to hear Yue Opera, Shanxi Qinqiang, Huangmei Opera or Henan clapper now and then. These merchants not only compete with each other in soliciting the customers, but also freely show the charm of their dialects and regional culture.

From August 15, 2011, surrounding areas of Hanzheng Street have being subjected to traffic control. The market will be renovated comprehensively and completely moved to Hankou North Market for thorough reconstruction; after relocation and reconstruction, Hanzheng Street will be transformed from "site, spot goods, cash" traditional transaction model to enhanced commercial format, and built into a world-class waterfront tourism business district (TBD) of integrated functions of recreational tourism, e-commerce, trade circulation, cultural convention and exhibition etc. Hanzheng Street after reconstruction will not adopt the circulation model of wholesale market any longer, rather, it'll be a high-end retail format in e-commerce. Original shops and stores of Hanzheng Street will be moved to Hankou North Market.[2] 

Storefront & Workshop

The storefront and workshop structure of Hanzheng Street in 1980s' brought up numerous millionaires. You'd not be unfamiliar with time-honored brands such as Taihan, Rise and Yaqi. The great success of these businesses is to a large extent benefited from the hard years on Hanzheng Street. In particular, after national broadcasting of the TV play named after Hanzheng Street, the market with 160,000 visitors/times per day became focus of attention of numerous merchants. The successful business model of Hanzheng Street not only attracted a great many of indigenes and outlanders, but also extensive attention of international community, for instance, the UN IMF mission was marveled at the booming business of Hanzheng Street and tremendous potential of rural market in China.

Today's Hanzheng Street is no longer an old marketplace limited to Riverside Avenue, it's become a brand name for a long time, and derived series of specialized markets such as building materials market of West Hanzheng Street. Wholesale business of Hanzheng Street market, together with traditional retail business of Wuhan, will become the wings of soaring commerce of Wuhan in the 21st century.

Branded Clothing

Hanzheng Street branded clothing wholesale market is located in the golden area of the central Hanzheng Street, which is composed of six reconstructed well-established clothing wholesale markets. The wholesale market extends from Jiuru Lane in the east, Situates on Dajia Street in the south, borders Duofu Road in the west, and adjoins Changdi street in the north, where it's the core area of Hanzheng Street business district, a landmark plot symbolizing economic development of Hanzheng Street, representing 60% economic shares of the trade market, features convenient traffic accessibility and large flow of buyers and tourists, making it a contested place of traders.

Hanzheng Street branded clothing wholesale market includes a floor area of 103-mu, construction area of phase 1 is over 100000m2, total construction area is near 300,000m2, where near 3000 branded traders are settled, with abundant collections of men's and women's clothing, children's wears and casual clothing. With pool of top-100 fashion brands from home and abroad, and complete clothing industry chain, it'll lead clothing industry in central China going out nationally and globally.

Advanced hardware facilities preset a fair future vision. In the prime area of the most commercial atmosphere on Hanzheng Street, Hanzheng Street branded clothing wholesale market in super-large scale assembles near 3000 domestic and foreign branded clothing; rational commercial layout and "wide, spatial, bright" shopping space ensure professional wholesale model not to be outdated even after 100 years from now.

Advanced operation management ensures sustainable market development. Wuhan Daluqiao Investment & Development Co., Ltd as the investor adopts project operation mode integrating investment and development with operation management, and practices business concept of interactive management and mutual development with the traders. Hanzheng Street branded clothing wholesale market will be opened soon; in order for decoration and entry of the traders, the investor is thoughtful of all important and trivial matters; guided by the business concept of "fish farming in flowing water", the investor provides the traders with all conveniences for doing business and living, to create favorable business environment for them with wholehearted management and service.

Perfect market supporting facilities enable convenient and quick wholesale route. As the sample of G6 clothing wholesale market, Hanzheng Street branded clothing wholesale market will gradually be configured with complete functions and supporting services of commerce, logistics, warehousing, catering, entertainment and recreation etc. Here, wholesale business will also be as leisured and convenient as shopping at large department store.

High-quality branded traders become core impetus of the wholesale market. "Carefully select partners, create clustering effect" are operation guidelines of the investor at all times. This form of business alliance not only substantially reduces the cost of manufacturers and traders for market development by themselves, and the scale effect will bring the traders with economic benefit that is unable to realize from acting alone in the development of market channel.

E-commerce Platform

China Hanzheng Street e-commerce platform is established by Hanzheng Street Market Management Committee of Wuhan Qiaokou District Government in cooperation with China Telecom, domestic national-owned banks such as Agricultural Bank of China. Hanzheng Street e-commerce platform is the most advanced e-commerce platform of China Telecom's business navigation service in central China region, and the only official e-commerce platform of Hanzheng Street, which integrates e-commerce and telephone call business, and adheres to the business philosophy of e-commerce navigation and service to players and traders, and powerfully drives Hanzheng Street market toward a modern, international and information-based commercial district.

With China's first e-commerce service model of computers combined with telephone calls, Hanzheng Street e-commerce platform integrates dual networks of telephone network and internet technology. With Hanzheng Street e-commerce platform, the user can complete the whole process from ordering to payment by any way; the platform enables integrated functions of automatic electronic transaction, manual handling transaction and electronic payment, which substantially lowers the threshold of use by the user, and provide the buyers and the sellers with quick and convenient e-commerce model, with following advantages:

1. Reliable credit guarantee;

2. Added-value of banking service;

Themed Shopping Park

Wuhan Hanzheng Street themed shopping park project is a key project of Wuhan for the period of the 12th Five-year Plan; the project site is located in core area of inner ring of Wuhan, where it's the most famous historic trade and wholesale terminal. With total construction area of about 2,504,600m2, the project extends from South Youyi Road in the east, to Duofu Road in the west, adjoins Riverside Avenue in the south, and reaches Hanzheng Street in the north, is a diversified urban comprehensive project integrating residence, commerce, office buildings and five-starred hotels. Upon completion of the project, it'll become a diversified urban complex integrating trade, tourism, residence, recreation and entertainment that is first class in domestic market, and a landmark project in Hankou commercial centre of Wuhan.

Recently, a construction contract for Wuhan Hanzheng Street themed shopping park project has been signed between China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited and Linca Industry (Fujian) Group Co., Ltd, total contract price is ¥10.5 billion.

Wuhan Hanzheng Street themed shopping park project is a key project of Wuhan for the period of the 12th Five-year plan, which is designed to integrate residence, commerce, office buildings, serviced apartments, five-starred hotels and school; upon completion of the project, it'll be hopefully to become a landmark project in Hankou commercial centre of Wuhan.

Total Cost is Doubled to 10.5 Billion yuan

This amount is increased one time than previous budget of 5.0 billion yuan, with doubled construction are of the project, up to 2504600m2.

In June 2009, an agreement was signed between Qiaokou District Government and Linca Industry (Fujian) Group Co., Ltd in Hong Kong, then Linca Industry (Fujian) Group Co., Ltd planned to invest more than 5.0 billion yuan in comprehensive reconstruction of eastern section of Hanzheng Street project. According to original agreement, total site area of the project is 242-mu, total construction area is about 1,100,000 m2, where high-quality waterfront project and landmark building will be built, together with construction of stereoscopic transportation network and development of underground commercial plaza.

The project extends from South Youyi Road in the east, to Duofu Road in the west, adjoins Riverside Avenue in the south, and reaches Hanzheng Street in the north, is a diversified urban comprehensive project integrating residence, commerce, office buildings and five-starred hotels. Upon completion of the project, it'll become a diversified urban complex integrating trade, tourism, residence, recreation and entertainment that is first class in domestic market, and a landmark project in Hankou commercial centre of Wuhan.

"Four Districts" of Different Features

Hanzheng Street themed shopping park project is part of reconstruction and upgrading project of Hanzheng Street. According to the Blueprint of Overall Reconstruction Planning of Hanzheng Street published in June 2010, Qiaokou District will attract 20.0 billion yuan funds for overall reconstruction of Hanzheng Street, with the aim to build "a modern, multifunctional and compound commerce and tourism business district".

Hanzheng Street under planning consists of Duofu Road as vertical axis, Sanshu Street and Dajia Street as horizontal axis, together with Han River waterfront line, for form the structure of "one axis, four areas, one line", of which northeast section of Hanzheng Street is planned as clothing exhibition area, southeast section as conference & exhibition business area, and whole east section will undergo comprehensive reconstruction with Linca Industry (Fujian) Group Co., Ltd as the investor.

Moreover, No.1 Avenue of Duofu Road is positioned as characteristic commerce tourism street with shopping, sightseeing, cultural tourism, recreational and entertainment functions. Along north bank of Han River is waterfront business district, where enterprise headquarters, exclusive franchisees and exclusive agents of brands will assemble; southwest section of Hanzheng Street is exhibition and selling area of petty commodities; north west section of Hanzheng Street is comprehensive auxiliary service area, which is planned to construct landmark buildings to provide shoppers and tourists with auxiliary services of recreation, entertainment, accommodation etc.[3] 

Cultural Tourism

Hanzheng Street cultural tourism business district project was officially launched in 2012. In the future, 11.6km long "ten waterscapes of Han River" will be built along the coast of Han River with Hanzheng Street as the core, including construction of "Eye of Han River", the highest river-across sky wheel in the world.

Hanzheng Street cultural tourism business district project under planning is located in the junction of Yangtze River and Han River and core area three towns. Hanzheng Street area is the core of the project, which extends from Nananzui in the east, to Gutianqiao in the west, adjoins Zhongshan Avenue in the north, and connects Beijing-Guangzhou Railway in the south, total length is 11.6km, total area is more than 10 square kilometers.

According to development planning, 10 featured scenic areas will be built in Hanzheng Street cultural tourism business district, to connect the landscapes on both shores of Yangtze River and Han River; each scenic area will reflect one cultural theme, and contain one core scenic spot and auxiliary development, generally called "ten waterscapes of Han River", namely, Heart of Yangtze River, Hanzheng Sky Street, Xima Old Path, Mountains & Melody, Chongrenfang Lane, Lingering Moon Shadow, Made in Hanyang 1898, Brilliant Twin Towers, Waterside Family, and Eye of Han River.

Of the ten scenic spots, Heart of Yangtze River and Eye of Han River are most appealing. It's said that Heart of Yangtze River is located in Nananzui, planned site area is about 410-mu, where a city parlor integrating public culture, exhibition and catering will be built to highlight regional culture of conjunction of Yangtze River and Han River as well as tripartite layout of three towns.

"Eye of Han River" is initially selected in upstream Zhiyin Qiao, which is a super sky wheel across Han River, looking like "London Eye" beside Thames River. Planned height of "Eye of Han River" is more than 200m, construction period is 5 years, upon completion of construction, it'll become an important landmark of Hanzheng Street cultural tourism business district, at that time, the public can climb on the sky wheel, overlook the beautiful waterscapes along Yangtze River and Han River in the breeze.

Famous Traders

Qianxiangyi Silk Shop

Qianxiangyi (Heng's) Silk Shop was opened in the 20th year of Emperor Guangxu in Qing Dynasty (1894), its sapphire blue cloth, sapphire blue fine cloth and sapphire blue buckram (Traditionally called "three treasures" or "three blues") were best sellers in three towns of Wuhan, urban and rural regions of Jianghan Plain, for these three types of blue clothes are exclusively dyed and finished by its independent dye-house, highly praised for constantly high quality; it was the only competitor of imported goods of "indanthrene" cloth at that time. Qianxiangyi Silk Shop established its business style of modesty, kindness and good faith to the customers, to build mutual trust relation with the buyers. Frequent customers from other places were assured to do their own business by handing over purchase order to the shopkeeper, when they came back, they could pick up their ordered goods without bargaining and error; inside the shop was a black placard, three gilded characters saying "at fixed price"; for more than one half of century, it becomes a catch phase among folks in Hankou, that "fixed price is Qianxiangyi signage"; it's estimated that around the period of Xinhai Revolution (1911), average daily sales of Qianxiangyi silk shop was near 5000 silver dollars, the maximum daily sales was up to 16000 silver dollars; annual sales was r 1,500,000-1,800,000 silver dollars; In early period from the foundation of new China, major business of the shop was selling silk; in 1966, it was renamed Qianxiangyi department store after public-private partnership campaign, from then its business direction was changed.

Suhengtai Umbrella Shop

Suhengtai Umbrella Shop was a time-honored shop on Hanzheng Street, its produced umbrellas were famous best sellers in and out of Hubei Province; Su Wenshou, founder of Suhengtai umbrella shop, was an umbrella maker from Shimenkan, Changsh, Hunan, who moved with his family to the cottage of Guangyu Temple of Hanzheng Street in the 1st year of Emperor Tongshi in Qing Dynasty (1862); at first, he was a street vendor for umbrella repair, while selling a few self-made umbrella; after three years, he accumulated 30-liang silvers, and opened Suhengtai umbrella shop at Kuibei Lane of Guangyu Temple, quitted umbrella repair to make Hunan oil-papered umbrella. Since then, his monthly output was increased from more than 100 umbrellas to over 6000 umbrellas out of stock; the secret of centennial market shares by its oil-papered umbrellas was superior quality unequaled by its competitors; its umbrellas were made of genuine raw materials; the skeleton of oil-papered umbrella was made of bamboo indigenous in Yiyang and Chaling of Hunan, with which the framework was unlikely to bend or distort due to "thick flesh and hard texture"; bark paper of power veins for umbrella covering was sourced from Yunyang of Hubei Province; the surface was perfect purity and gloss applied tung oil from Changde of Hunan; in case of occasional short supply of raw materials, he chose to reduce the output instead of lowering the quality by selling shoddy goods disguised as quality goods, he did business in good faith at all times; in old days, it was a practice of parents in Jianghan Plain to buy Suhengtai's umbrella at their daughter's dowry; as a result, "Suhengtai's umbrella" was widely known with universal praise; as for operation management, the shop owner did his best to make improvement for purpose of increasing production and income; one-shift workshop system was adopted in early period of umbrella making; in order to increase production, one-shift system was changed to divided line production system, 7 workers were one team, of whom 4 workers made umbrella stand (Divided works of long reaching keel, short supporting keel, assembly of roller and bar), 3 workers separated canopy (2 workers unfolding oiled paper, 1 worker brushing oil); moreover, hourly wage was change to piece wage; after these improvements, work efficiency was increased 30%; entering into 1930s', Su's 3rd generation of inheritor, in order to strengthen market competitiveness, concentrated study of improving product quality, and promoting oil-dipped umbrella cover process; the variety of umbrella was increased to 4 types decal paper, improved blue cover, blue cover and hooked bar as well as red cover and big bar of 21 specifications, with better rainproof ability and durability; to solicit customers, the shop owner, before selling its umbrella, brushed another coat of oil, and wrote the name or painted on umbrella cover at the customer's request; after foundation of new China, the shop became No.2 sales department of Xiangtan General Umbrella Factory; after public-private partnership campaign, it was changed from store operation to production, with monthly output of 2000 oiled-paper umbrellas and 5000 tarpaulin umbrellas; after 1960s', plastic umbrella and colored cloth umbrella was popular, oiled-paper umbrella naturally faded out of the market; however, the reputation of Suhengtai umbrella was spread in the market for superior quality, low price and durability.

Wang Yuxia Food Store

Founded in Denglong Lane of Hanzheng Street in the 4th year of Emperor Qianong in Qing Dynasty, it's a famous time-honored store with a history of more than 200 years. See Appendix 310; in its initial period of operation, main business of Wang Yuxia food store was selling tea produced in Anhui, which was the best quality at that time, after which it was named "Wang Yuxia's tea"; in late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China, the store turned to focus on cakes and pastries, such as crunchy sugar and Jingguo for Spring Festival, sesame cake and green bean cake for Dragon Boat Festival, and moon cake for Mid-autumn Festival, were favorite foods or urban and rural residents; in particular, Wang Yuxia's moon cake was essential goods for household gatherings of wedding presents and celebrating feasts; these products were constant in high quality after generations; today, Wang Yuxia's crunchy sugar and Jingguo and green bean cake are still one of the first choices in food market of Wuhan; the key was rigorous formula and strict operation procedures, to ensure sweet, crunchy, fragrant and crisp products satisfying customers' taste; all products were foretasted by the shop owner and the baker before launch, only those qualified after inspection were released to the market in batch; as for operation management, although its products "were very popular among the customers", it focused on sales promotion; for instance, it solicits the customers by selling salty flaky cake for small profit (Profit margin is 5%, which 1/7 than other products), in order to boost market shares of other profitable products; as for service quality, it's credible with good style of respecting the customers.

Yekaitai Drugstore

The drugstore was opened in the 10th year of Emperor Chongzhen in Qing Dynasty (1637); ten generations of Ye's inheritors after foundation of new China, it's a time-honored store of over 300 years in history; Ye Wenji as the founder opened Yekaitai clinic in Baojia Lane of Hanzheng Street to practice medicine while making and prescribing traditional Chinese herbal medicine to the customers; during the ruling of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty, his grandson Ye Hongliang developed business and renamed Yekaitai drugstore; during the ruling of Emperor Guangxu in Qing Dynasty, turnover of the store accounted for about 13% total sales in its industry; after Xinhai Revolution, the inheritor Ye Fengchi built a store on his homestead in Taojia Lane, Dajia Street, to revive his family property and culminate the family business; its refined plaster, pill and powder featured good quality and high curative effect, were sold to home and foreign markets; the store owner and workers strictly executed operation procedures on the principle of "medicine production is unseen, but the heaven knows"; for example, "big activating pill" was produced from long-nosed pit viper, after beheading the snakehead, cutting off tail, bone and skin, it's baked and ground into powder; only block donkey skin and tortoise and bottom shell were used; rigorous operation procedures are adopted for herbal formula by 311 old store on Hanzheng Street; after the patient putting prescription on the counter, medical staff will release the prescribed medicine; each drug was weighed to accurate weight by the scale, poured on small wrapping paper, and the prescribed herbals were arrayed in sequence; after release of all prescribed herbals, they were checked one by one by special staff; after inerrant inspection, the pharmacist wrapped them in small packet, then put them together; the packets were wrapped orderly and neatly; then, the drugs were handed over to the cashier for settlement; one allegorical saying was popular in Wuhan, which says "The patient taking in Yekaitai's herbal medicine is healthy even after death", which is a mirror of its reputation.

 

 

Huaiyan Lane

In central section of Hanzheng Street, there's a tidy lane called Huaiyan Lane; its busienss growth was closely related to the development of salt industry of Hankou; the origin of Huaiyan Land can be traced back to early years of Ming Dynasty, when dealers were not allowed to sell Huai salt without official document, like sales permit today, each official document approves selling 182kg salt; the quota in Hubei was amount to 130000000kg; it's no wonder as recorded in Annals of Hanyang Prefecture quote, "salt industry of Hankou is No.1 in the nation";then, many salt dealers lived and traded on Huaiyan Lane; Huai salt bureau was established inside Wusheng Temple nearby, and salt industry was flourishing for over 200 years; to the first year of Emperor Xianfeng in Qing Dynasty, traffic and sales volume of Huai salt in Hankou was up to 200000000kg, leading to the scene of "10-li through ferry was docked with salt vessels"; salt dealers not only made big fortune, but also built Huaiyan Lane as the best lane in Hankou at that time, when it was golden age of salt industry; after Xinhai revolution, official document system was abolished, Huaiyan Lane was not as busy as old time any longer; today, the old lane is fundamentally changed appearance as a bustling street.

Huang Zhicheng Wholesale Shop

The shop was famous for wholesale of sundry goods and seafood, which had a daily turnover up to 20000-liang silver in its prime time; in the 16th year of Emperor Guangxu in Qing Dynasty (1890), Huang Boji inherited his uncle's store and opened Huang Zhicheng wholesale shop, and started to second-hand wholesale business by taking advantage of westerners selling of seafood and white sugar in Hankou; the shop was operated by service means such as bountiful weighing, concessional price, complete varieties, packaging on behalf of the customers and consignment etc, developed its business with middle to small customers in Hubei and town docks along Yangtze River as the objects, its business overwhelmed the competitors and spread to all villages and towns of Hubei, and reputation was reached to Hunan, Jiangxi and Sichuan; it's reported that many country grocery stores in and out of Hubei were used to post purchasing invoice of Huang Zhicheng wholesale shop in their stores, as a proof of genuine goods and cost-effective price; in 1900, the shop was expanded to over 180 employees, with daily turnover up to 10000-liang silver, annual profit of 70000-80000-liang silver, its business scale grew rapidly; later, it opened 5 grocery stores and 1 rice mill in Wuchang and Hanyang; for this reason, Huang Boji was chosen as the chairman of Hankou Xianning Natives Association, once he bought 2 steamers to operate freighting business between Hankou and Xianning; Hankou was ruined by fire set by the troops of Qing Dynasty during Xinhai Revolution, when the shop was burnt down and badly hurt; although  the shop owner raised funds and goods on credit for business recovery, and made certain improvement at one time, senior staffs of the shop were distracted to do their own business, the business went from bad to worse; in 1927, the shop was finally unable to maintain, and disappeared from Hanzheng Street market.

Hanzheng Street in the Eyes of Foreigners

Hanzheng Street wholesale market is the product of the reform of China's economic system, and window and wind vane of opening up and invigoration; its success is not only the spotlight of whole society, but also draws extensive attention in world opinion and foreigners; foreign guests from dozens of countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Netherland, Cuba, Canada, Romania, Uruguay etc, have visited Hanzheng Street in succession, and highly praised its prosperity and development, as well as its position and role in China's economic system reform.

On September 08, 1985, Aim Savare and Jacques Uzerstein, journalists of Life Weekly of France, after visit and interview the wholesale market, left the written message of "we're deeply impressed by active economic activities on this commercial district".

On November 15, 1988, Romanian delegation led by the head of Dubroad "was delighted to visit Hanzheng Street wholesale market, and the delegates were particularly impressed by abundant goods".[5] 

On March 12, 1986, 4 members of World Bank mission visited Hanzheng Street wholesale market , and commented that "we're sincerely thankful to management works and management officials of Hanzheng Street wholesale market, and grateful to the dealers from whom helpful information are received. We hope you to do booming business in this market under your management." 

On November 12, 1990, Bob Brown, a congressman of the USA, commented on the wholesale market as the representative of congress delegation, quote "booming business, good luck"“.

On April 23, 1991, journalists from 10 news agencies of UK, USA, France, Germany and Netherland visited Hanzheng Street wholesale market, and praised it as "epitome of China's reform and opening-up campaign", they were strongly interested in its operation features of oriented to rural regions, high-quality and inexpensive goods as well as diversified business formats.

During August 7-8, 1986, Mr. Rawson, a journalist of Financial Times of London, UK visited the whole process of formation of Hanzheng Street wholesale market, highly praised its development, and wished "the government continue to be practical and realistic for the good of China's development".

On October 13, 1985, a journalism delegation of Japan visited Hanzheng Street wholesale market, they were very interested in its flourishing scene, featured operation mode and efficient management of government department. Mr. Yoichi Umemoto, head of the delegation and Asahi Shimbun Tokyo director, said emotionally, "from the business activities of the famous Hanzheng Street wholesale market, we have substantial understanding of opening up and invigoration policy of Chinese government, which is the epitome of China's reform and opening up".

In June 1985, Madam Nancy Dernhelm, a journalist of Canada Weekly, visited and interviewed Hanzheng Street wholesale market, and saw the hope of successful China's reform and opening up from the flourishing scene of this market, and commented quote "because Deng Xiapping's political influence is continuously extending to all levels of local government, the destiny of his reform policy is ascertainable".

 

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