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CRI News Report:White-collar Workers Moonlight as Street...

White-collar Workers Moonlight as Street Vendors

Anchor:

Every night, vendors crowd the roadside in a densely populated neighbourhood in Beijing, hawking all kinds of products, their cars parked behind them in a line along the street. Scenes like this are nothing out of the ordinary, except that this time there's one small twist: these salespeople are "moonlight vendors", or white-collar workers who drive to work during the daytime but set up shop as street peddlers after office hours.

Liu Min has more.

Reporter:

Wen Fan, 25, parked her Mazda 3 beside a shopping center in northern Beijing after dinner. She opened the trunk and hung up bundles of dresses, T-shirts and other small women's accessories, setting up a trunk sale in no time. I asked her whether her job is selling things.

"No, just after work I sell things on the street when I have time."

Wen Fan has been working for three years at a local magazine company, where she earns about 5,000 yuan a month. She says she became a part-time peddler 2 months ago.

"The only purpose is to have fun. I've never tried anything like this before. I just do it for fun. And maybe I can accumulate some experience and then open a store some day by myself."

According to a survey on the job hunting website Chinahr.com, more than 60 percent of over 1,400 white-collar respondents say they usually spend all of their monthly income. About 18 percent say they have set up roadside stands to learn how to start up businesses, and 14 percent say they want to try to live new lives.

As a lifestyle magazine editor, Wen Fan has a habit of paying attention to the details in life. Several months ago, some of her friends mentioned the idea of using their cars to sell stuff on the street. She found the idea very novel and tried it herself. She says she doesn't feel pressured to earn money.

"I don't pin my hopes on this to earn much money. Because I have to work during the daytime, and this is just a way to relax. I love talking to people and plus I regard it as a way of enjoying life!"

Professionals moonlighting as street vendors is a trend that can now can be seen in many major cities such as Shanghai, Qingdao and Hangzhou. Many are corporate employees or civil servants by day. They visit online forums to discuss the ins and outs of street selling, from finding a good place to set up a stand to dodging the authorities who police the city's markets.

Wen Fan says sometimes they have problems with the authorities.

"Sometimes the officials come to us and urge us to leave. They usually chase unlicensed vendors away. We usually have to obey their command."

Some sociologists call for tolerance for these amateur salespeople, but city management recommends that moonlight vendors set up shop in a legal flea market to display their goods.

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