Found an interesting article on Shanghaiist about the recent regulation to add Chinese signs to all stores, shops and restaurants in Xintiandi.
Xintiandi is a very unique place, where most of the shops and bars remains the same style as they were in their original country (many from U.S.) and it is a cultural showcase in the heart of Shanghai about the foreign cultures. One reflection about this is the names and signs of the stores. Many of them only have English names and only show English on their signs, like my favorite KABB. I don’t know whether they have a Chinese name.
The recent requirement is to put Chinese names on their store. I didn’t visit Xintiandi recently, but it is said all store complied with this regulation already. Hmmm.. This seems wired and the next time I am there, I will take pictures, and I am sure Xintiandi may look differently.
The other place very similar to Xintiandi is the Biyun International District. It is just an American Town in Shanghai.
How do I feel? Well. I have some concerns on this. I am afraid the consistency may overtake diversity in this city, and the government is trying to regulate everything, and may kill the energy of the new economic ecosystem. I love to see Chinese culture become more and more rich, however, it should base itself upon a very solid foundation – like more artist, more poetic, more great novelist, and more good Chinese restaurants and bars. By suppressing the other culture to make sure one culture is stronger is not the right way to do it.
How do you feel?