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Zhongnanhai's Secret Supermarket

March 26, 2013
Translated by Li Jing and Pang Lei

Update: Cao Shiru (曹世如), the chairwoman of the Red Flag supermarket, revealed on her Sina Weibo account yesterday afternoon that the Zhongnanhai supermarket closed way back in 2003, not long after it opened.

One of the top stories floating around China's internet today was about a Sichuan supermarket chain that managed to open up a store within the walled grounds of Zhongnanhai, the well-guarded headquarters of China's central party and government leaders.

Sometimes referred to as China\'s Kremlin, Zhongnanhai was once part of the Forbidden City with its lakes - Zhongnanhai (中南海) literally translates as the Central and Southern Seas - were part of the former imperial gardens.

Reports said that the Red Flag supermarket chain's (红旗连锁超市) outlet within the walled compound has now closed, though no-one seems to be really sure when it happened. The store was reportedly opened in December 2003.

It mainly sold the kind of items that you'd expect to find in any Beijing supermarket, but it also had a special section devoted to products from the heavily populated province of Sichuan in China's southwest.

Peng Longkai (彭隆凯), a representative on securities matters for Chengdu Red Flag Chain Co., Ltd., told reporters that the store in Zhongnanhai had been closed for a long time and that he couldn't remember exactly when, but it certainly wasn't this year.

The story was posted to Sina\'s news channel but appears to have been removed. There is still a version available through Sina's Taiwan gateway site.

Other versions of the story say that it has been cross posted from China Economic Net, but the original post there also appears to have been removed.

Links and Sources
Xinhua News Agency: 中南海最牛超市神秘关门


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