Known as a shopping kingdom for both Chinese and internationals, Shanghai has been providing a wide range of commodities from domestic to foreign and from low-end to high-end for many decades. Stores of different types are easy to distinguish and access. For instance, in Old Shanghai, the Bund-side of Nanjing Road (East Nanjing Road) featured large department stores with Western architecture and decorations, while the West Nanjing Road housed small local stores with large hanging signs extending out to the center of the road (Item 39). Meanwhile, the cosmopolitan features of commerce could be seen in local stores with bilingual signs (Item 37) and currencies issued by banks of different nations (Item 38).
In general, there have been a mutual dependence and benefit between local and international businesses in Shanghai. On the one hand, Shanghai's tremendous consumption potential, favorable location, preferential policies, and the reputation as a fashion center attract increasing numbers of international corporations and businesses (Items 41 & 42). By means of localized product promotion (Item 43a) and with the aid of compradors, usually Cantonese who acted as business intermediaries between Chinese and westerners (Item 44)--many early generations of international businessmen (Item 46) were able to fulfill their dreams in this commercial wonderland. Yet, all successful international businesses have to conform to Chinese norms and comply with local government regulations (Item 45).
On the other hand, Shanghainese's faith in foreign products provides huge opportunities to local industries and business. Often shrewd Shanghai businessmen are able to reach success via "westernizing" their brands (Item 40) or commodities (Item 43b).
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