"Informalization" of Food Vending in China

From a Tool for Food Security to Employment Promotion

Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, China, Informal Markets, Informalization, Street Food, Vending, Employment


The central government of China required local governments to allow street food vending on May 27, 2020, which is essentially a policy of “informalization” in urban food governance. Before this, some local governments such as Nanjing Municipal Government had already relaxed the implementation of regulations for street food vending. The original purpose of allowing street food vending was to help ensure food security. Currently, it is used for increasing informal employment as a response to unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary informalization is important for mitigating food insecurity, which demonstrates China’s adaptability in contexts of crisis.


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Author Biographies

Taiyang Zhong, Nanjing University

Associate Professor, School of Geography and Ocean Science

Steffanie Scott, University of Waterloo

Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Management

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How to Cite
Zhong, T., & Scott, S. (2020). "Informalization" of Food Vending in China: From a Tool for Food Security to Employment Promotion. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(4), 135–137. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.094.006
Commentaries on COVID-19 and the Food System