Planet China

Going bananas

Going bananas

­­As cross-straits tensions with Taiwan subside, bomb shelters in the coastal province of Fujian are getting a makeover. According to the Economic Observer, officials in Fuzhou have taken the enterprising decision to use them to store bananas.

The coastal shelters were built in the sixties but are expensive to maintain. “Now that aerial bombardment is off the agenda”, they are being put to alternative use, the EO notes. One tenant – Zhong Chongyu, a banana trader – says that they offer ideal storage conditions: “The temperature hovers around 25 degrees celsius all year round; it’s perfect for a banana warehouse.”

There are at least 10 shelters in the region, so a subterranean real estate opportunity beckons. An underground bookstore is being piloted in another shelter. But using the military installations for business purposes doesn’t please everyone. An official in Fujian – the province closest to Taiwan – admitted that “commercial use of the shelters is a controversial subject”.

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.