A Closer Look At The Chinese 'Ghost Mall' Seen On '60 Minutes' Reveals A Complicated Picture

Zhengzhou China Ghost Mall

Last month “60 Minutes” featured a segment on the hot new Chinese phenomenon — “ghost cities”.

These ghost cities — massive new construction projects that sit forlorn and empty after completion — have become a high-profile example of China’s growth and its surrounding problems, though some people argue that the problem is overblown or misread.

Wade Shepard, a journalist and photographer who publishes at Vagabond Journeys, recently visited the city of Zhengzhou where “60 Minutes” filmed.

He’s kindly allowed us to republish some photos of a mall in the city that reveal a somewhat different picture of the ghost city phenomenon.

The construction is called the Orient centre mall, and it sits in the centre of Zhengzhou — a city of over 8 million people.

Inside, it is indeed deserted.

Wade says that the mall was due to open 3 years ago. Officials claim it will open some time later this year.

It's a huge space, with lots of room for shops and shoppers.

The elevators work, though there's no need to use them.

A ghost Starbucks ...

... a ghost Nike store ...

... a ghost Adidas store ...

... and even a ghost KFC.

In some places the mall seems to be clearly unfinished.

Parts are completely desolate ...

... and it feels completely abandoned.

However, Wade points out that the story isn't a simple one.

For one, local Zhengzhou residents don't seem ashamed of the mall at all ...

... in fact, they take visiting business people on tours.

Wade is forced to admit that even a huge, empty, apparently abandoned mall like the Orient centre could soon be full of shoppers.

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