Beijing's new silk market, Xiushui, is likely to postpone its opening beyond the originally scheduled date of March 11.
"We expect to open the new market in mid-March," said Ji Wei, manager of the Xinya Shenghong Real Estate Development Company, the market developer.
The Beijing Youth Daily has reported, however, that an anonymous official from Chaoyang district, where the market is located, said since some of the stall owners of the old market haven't been settled, it is "very unlikely" that the new market will start running in the middle of March.
The 28,000-square-meter indoor market, next to the old market which was shut on January 6 over fire and safety hazards, has 1,300 smoke sensors and a fire control center with screens monitoring every corner of the building.
Ji said fire fighters will arrive on spot within two minutes of a fire.
There are 1,500 stalls in the new building, 1,300 of which have been leased at a monthly rate as high as 26,000 yuan (3152 US dollars).
The old silk market was a popular tourist shopping haunt famousfor its fake name-brand goods. District officials have said that the new market will carry no brand-name imitations, and that goods marked with any of nine brands targeted in the country's anti-piracy drive, including Louis Vitton and Chanel, will be confiscated.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2005)