Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Urban Planet Weird Wednesday: New South China Mall

Read more articles by


Weird Wednesdays on Urban Planet takes a look at obscure, absurd, and curious things about cities around the world.

Since its opening in 2005, the New South China Mall in Dongguan has held the world record for largest mall in terms of gross leasable area, which is also the problem.

With Dongguan’s population of over seven million people, developers projected the mall to attract 200,000 visitors every day.  However, much of Dongguan’s workforce is made up of low-paid factory workers who, even if they had expendable income, couldn’t get to the mall in the city’s outer suburbs. Despite the 2,350 retail spots available (not to mention the amusement park, rollercoaster, indoor canals, and a scale replica of the Arc de Triomphe), the mall has had a 99% vacancy rate since its opening. Of the handful of businesses that do operate in the mall, it is mostly the Western fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC that have been surviving.

For more stories from around the planet, check out Spacing on Facebook and Twitter.  Do you have an Urban Planet worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to


One comment

  1. Make sure to check out the short video documentary that takes a deeper look at this empty, retail monolith: