The hunt for bargains is alive and well - online

The hunt for bargains is alive and well - online
Woman walks at the Bund in front of the financial district in Shanghai

SHANGHAI - Shanghai's Dongtai Road antiques market is a popular destination for treasure hunters. But the recent wave of urban renewal is encroaching even on this venerable marketplace, and the area will soon be unrecognizable from its current form.

Is this cause for despair? Are shopkeepers and customers lamenting the impending loss of nostalgic sights? Far from it. The area is livelier than ever, with many shops jumping the gun and offering going-out-of business sales.

One likely reason many shop owners are upbeat about the redevelopment is the hefty compensation they will receive in return for moving out. The compensation is part of the massive investment being poured into the Dongtai Road redevelopment.

New hunting grounds

With traditional antique streets disappearing, Taobao Marketplace, an Internet auction site operated by Alibaba Group, may be the best place for today's treasure hunters. "Taobao" means "treasure hunt" in Chinese.

According to a recent financial announcement by the group, it boasted 350 million active online shoppers for the year to March. Investors in the US welcomed the news, pushing Alibaba's stock price there around 10 per cent higher.

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