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Empty shopping malls latest consequence of China's building spree

The surplus of monuments to commerce is leading to boarded up, disused centers

Across the globe, online shopping has taken a real bite out of brick-and-mortar stores’ marketshare. And with companies like Amazon gearing to jump into the real-life retail game, this isn’t a problem that seems bound to fade quickly.

One place where supply for shopping malls is outstripping demand: China. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, China has “the world’s largest supply of new shopping centers,” totaling just under 40 million square feet. But in 2015, e-commerce comprised about 13 percent of Chinese retail spending, the Wall Street Journal reports. That number is expected to top out at 18.5 percent when 2016’s figures come in.

Compounding the issue of shrinking public appetite for brick-and-mortar stores is the country’s construction boom—China has been building at an exponentially faster rate than other industrialized nations, with some estimates reporting that the pace is 10 times that of construction in New York and other global cities.

Read on over at the Wall Street Journal.