Return of wet market signals end of IT mall

One of Shanghai's earliest IT markets in west downtown is being redeveloped into a modern wet market.

One of Shanghai’s earliest computer markets has been shut down and will soon be reborn as a modern wet market.

Furongjiang Road Computer City Mall in Changning District began life as a street of electronic products in 1991 and was home to over 100 Internet and software companies. HK-listed Digital China began life there.

However, the building is almost obsolete after two decades of great change in the market, due in the main to the slump in brick-and-mortar business brought by the online shopping era.

Nearby residents are also keen to have a bigger and more up-to-date wet market to replace their current small, old-fashioned market.

Renovations have been completed on the exterior of the nine-story building along with new drainage and fire sprinkler systems.

Work is ongoing to turn the first and second floors into a wet market.

The rest of the building will be turned over to AI businesses.

Over 60 vegetable and food suppliers have signed up for spots in the new market which will feature a much cleaner environment and be directly supplied by farmers on Chongming Island.

The digital market building previously had a wet market but it was removed two decades ago to accommodate the IT firms.

The new market will open on October 31, when the old wet market will be closed.

From the 1990s, the site was one of the most popular places in the city for people looking to buy computers and other electronic products.

Over 100 companies selling and repairing computers were once stationed along a 500-meter section of Furongjiang Road.

In 1998, the district government vacated the building and relocated the companies inside to become the famous Furongjiang Computer City.

A smaller wet market was opened in a lane near Tianshan Road after the original market in the building was closed.

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