The Great Malls of China

Everyone has heard of the Great Wall of China -- but what about the great malls of China? They are the newest icons of this country's breakneck economic growth.

The Golden Resources Mall is three football fields long. The Grandview gets half a million shoppers on a good day. These malls are so large that shoppers can easily get lost without a map -- or even with one, as some did on a recent visit.

The Yan family moved to the United States two years ago, but back home for a visit to one of the new malls, even they expressed amazement.

The mammoth malls have American companies drooling. They're just the sort of retail space they've been hoping for as they try to crack the huge and increasingly prosperous China market.

The vast majority of Chinese, of course, still can't afford what's on sale at the malls. But big-city incomes are rising and developers say the millions being lured to the malls will eventually spend if they enjoy themselves there now.

The malls are a cross between Las Vegas and Disneyland, offering high-caliber theaters, ice rinks and an indoor beach geared toward toddlers.

The developers of the South China Mall want it to be the world's largest mall when it is completed, and they've spent $300 million toward their goal. Twenty million people live within a one hour ride of the mall. Its owners are hoping that if they build it, they will come.

ABC's Mark Litke originally reported this story for "World News Tonight."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...