Can you guess where it is?
You literally have to see it to believe it. This isn’t new; it came out four months ago, but I just saw it today. It drives home like nothing I’ve ever seen the difference between a ghost mall in the US (which is usually simply closed down and then leveled or left to deteriorate until it’s sold) and in China (where it can just keep on operating in what seems to be blissful disregard of reality).
Only one word keeps coming to mind as I watch it: sustainability. How long can places like this keep operating? How long can the charade continue? In most countries this wouldn’t go on past a few weeks or months. In China it could be years and years. But one thing seems certain: it can’t go on forever. Then again, this is China, and you just never know.
Watch the clip. It’s unforgettable.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.