South China Mall Biography

South China Mall Biography
DeveloperDongguan Sanyuan Yinghui
Gross Leasable Area
660,000 square meters
(7,100,000 sq ft)
AddressWanjiang District, Dongguan
Construction started1999
CostUS$1.3 Billion
OwnerFounder Group
Social MediaUnavailable


South China Mall is an architectural landmark and the second-largest shopping mall in the world when measured in terms of Gross Leasable Area (GLA) with 2300 Shops. It is located in Wanjiang District, Dongguan, China. Its construction started in 1999. The construction cost of South China Mall is US$1.3 Billion and was opened in 2005. South China Mall is owned by Founder Group.

More Facts About South China Mall

  • South China Mall was opened in 2005 and for more than 10 years it was mostly vacant as few merchants ever signed up, leading it to be a ghost mall.
  • The mall featured an IMAX-style cinema and theme park.
  • The mall was owned by Dongguan Sanyuan Yinghui Investment & Development Hu Guirong’s company.
  • In September 2007, the mall sold to Founder Group, a division of Peking University, and changed his name to “New South China Mall, Living City”.
  • Much of the retail space remained empty, with over 99% of the stores still vacant in 2008.
  • Later planned ”Shangri-La Hotel” was not completed.
  • The mall has seven zones modeled on international cities and nations including Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Venice, Egypt, the Caribbean, and California.
  • It features some replica of ”Arc de Triomphe” 25-meter (82 ft) high, replica of ”Venice’s St Mark’s Bell Tower”, and 2.1-kilometer canal with gondolas.

Short Film

Filmmaker Sam Green made a short film about the South China Mall called Utopia Part 3: the World’s Largest Shopping Mall which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2013, Vagabond Journey writer Wade Shepard wrote about his recent visit to the mall. He acknowledged that most visitors attend the mall for its movie theaters featuring IMAX and that families did gather in the play area. He also noticed that 4 full floors of the mall were unused and that the water of the artificial indoor canals had turned green.

Why South China Mall Failed?

  • The mall was built on farmlands of Wanjiang farmers. Lands were recovered in the wrong ways from the farmers.
  • After opening in 2005, the mall suffered from a severe lack of occupants, due to the big cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen are adjacent.
  • Dongguan is itself mainly a city of low-income migrant laborers who failed to respond to all the attractions the mall had to offer.

Short Flim

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