New night market in Taiwan’s Taichung shut down

After pandemic delayed permit approval, night market owner opened early citing cash hemorrhage

(Taichung City Economic Development Bureau photo)

(Taichung City Economic Development Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taichung City Economic Development Bureau on Sunday (Oct. 11) imposed a fine of NT$60,000 (US$2,000) on the operator of a new night market that opened in the city’s Beitun District during the Double Ten holiday for operating without a permit.

The bureau told the operator, surnamed Yeh (葉), to shut down the night market immediately or face a fine for each day it stays open as stipulated in related regulations, according to a press release posted to the bureau’s website.

Located near Jiushe Station on the Taichung MRT's Green Line, Zong Zhan Night Market (總站夜市) opened on Friday (Oct. 9), attracting large crowds that led to issues with traffic, parking, and noise.

The operator of the night market had applied for an operation permit on Aug. 7, per the bureau, but the application is still in the final review stage. Bureau Chief Chang Feng-yuan (張峯源) led a team to the night market to investigate the early opening.

When confronted by the chief, the operator said that the lot has been rented since April but that the application had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mounting operating costs forced his hand, he said, so he just went for it.

However, Yeh apologized in a Facebook post on Monday, saying he will follow the city government's guidance to tackle the problems and improve the facilities. He added that he will reopen the night market right after obtaining the permit.

(Taichung City Economic Development Bureau photo)