|Hengdian Drifters in Yatang Community|
Over 3000 dream-seekers from all over China live in Yatang Community, which is more than five times the number of local residents in the community.
Hu Zhiyong, 70 years old, is an actor and has been seeking opportunities in Hengdian since April 2015. In February 2017, Hu bought a house in Yatang. “It is amazing that Yatang has changed greatly from a poor village to a well-known village for Hengdian drifters,” says Hu, who now lives and works in Hengdian with his family.
Affected by the pandemic this year, Yatang witnessed a slack period. “In March and April, there were less than 2000 Hengdian drifters in Yatang. But with many film and television crews gradually resuming work, people have come back to the community since May,” says Jin Xinlun, secretary of the Party Committee of Yatang Community. According to Jin, there are currently 138 apartments in the community, almost all of which are occupied.
Although Yatang occupies a superior geographical position in Hengdian Town, it had no special features in its development until recent years. Since 2007, as the head of the management group for community affairs, Jin has been thinking about how to better develop the community. As Hengdian’s film and television industry embraced rapid development, Jin saw a business opportunity for the community. He called on his colleagues to discuss the feasibility of renting out some collective property.
The collective buildings in the community, after their completion, immediately attracted many investors. Later, a Marriott Hotel opened here. “At that time, the Marriott was one of the top hotels in Hengdian, a favorite of film and television crews and tourists. Sometimes crews rented the entire hotel and lived there for months.”
In the following years, Yatang renovated the main roads, improved its infrastructure, and constructed a square for Hengdian drifters. In addition, when the city promoted its comprehensive environment, the community underwent a renovation. All of these things helped to improve the popularity of Yatang and brought wealth to its local residents.
In order to attract more renters and support the entrepreneurship of Hengdian drifters, in 2015, Yatang transformed its rental housing into hotel-style apartments. To date, the community has 138 apartments that accommodate over 3000 Hengdian drifters.
As more drifters move in, Yatang has developed a closer connection with the film and television industry by establishing hotels, KTV bars, micro studios, and others. The renters of the community have brought an annual rental income of no less than 60,000 RMB to each local household. The collective economy of the community has developed greatly. The community now pays medical insurance for its local residents and provides them with various dividends. (By Wu Xuhua, translated by Jin Haiqiong, edited by Kendra Fiddler)