Dongguan’s South China Mall: Deserted, Save for the Somali Pirates

Never mind Engrish, I’d like to learn how to speak Chinese English.  Allow me to summarize the good bits of the website of Dongguan’s South China Mall (新华南 Xinhuanan-for some reason, the hua won’t show up):

“{this mall} will also create new global commercial peak after its completion.” – if by peak they mean nadir, then they’re right.

” {the} South China Mall has demonstrated its elegancy and glory, and is bound to be a miracle of commercial history.”- Auspiciously, I must conspicuously disagree.  Inauspiciously yours, Jonathan.

“In terms of humanistic concern, it allows you to enjoy anywhere and delivers to you the higher spiritual enjoyment besides the creature comfort. ”  – That’s awful ambitious (perhaps even, auspicious?) of you, South China Mall (aka SCM).  I didn’t enjoy the taxi ride to the mall, or from it, and the neighborhood immediately around it, in Wanjiang town, was depressive.  And what the frig’, the roller coaster inside gave me neck spasms.  I won’t even comment on the spiritual bit.

I don’t want to give the rest away, but they do mention “untrammeled” a couple of times, quite an ironic choice of words based on the country, and French pirates (didn’t expect this word to appear twice).  A good read if you’re waiting for your car at the car wash, or if you’ve just turned 21. (Link and quotes special thanks to the South China Mall)  Oh, and I’ve gotta get a more patient camera (or self)-the pictures are highly suspect, but maybe that adds to the mood.

Mahadsanid for stopping by

2005, the year of the rooster, might not have been the most sound choice to open up the SCM.  Of course, for the mainlanders that relish all things tacky (except four white clocks), a mall with different districts, ie Venice (replete with gondolas and more stupid hats), Champs Elysees and San Francesco (?) and their accompanying harmonious designs, is a sure bet…ya?  (Link thanks to  Well, for starters, the mall was constructed in a throwaway, inconvenient part of Dongguan without good transport links.  Hubris and the notion of “too big to fail” also had a hand in this white elephant scat, where employees still must continue to remind themselves that they are Chinese-doing exercises before their shifts start, in other words, getting yelled at by their manager’s megaphone to not be motionless- even if there are no customers around.  (Video thanks to PBS)   Enough banter, let’s view some photos…

Previously a car park, now an Olympic badminton training ground

They've got an undulating roller derby too

The escalators were cordoned off; you can see why

Clearly, I didn’t explore enough of this hall of excess, so it’ll be on the radar along with Ordos.  (Link thanks to Time)  If there ever will be a Sister Mall connection (à la Sister Cities), I’d nominate the Mountaineer Mall in Morgantown, West Virginia to be SCM’s USA equivalent.   (Link thanks to Labelscar)

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4 Responses to Dongguan’s South China Mall: Deserted, Save for the Somali Pirates

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  3. Pingback: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Can’t Go « buildingmybento

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