Road Sweeping, China Style


The stupefying quality of Chinese innovation is once again the subject of appreciation online, this time in the form of the nation’s unique new approach to street sweeping.

A Self-made Road Sweeper In Hubei
A Self-made Road Sweeper In Hubei

A video of one of the devices in operation:

The Hubei province road authority responsible for the machine apparently claims this saves the labour of 20 broom wielding sweepers, assuming it ever employed them in the first place.

Some have claimed the contraptions have been in use across China for years, although as Chinese language searches for “road sweeper” only return images of more conventional road sweeper trucks and this peculiar model, it seems likely to be a recent innovation.

Whilst the simplicity of the design has won some admirers, others have pointed out that as in practice the brooms merely fling the dirt into another lane or onto the side-walk (and doubtless onto other vehicles or pedestrians) without vacuuming it up, the whole exercise is essentially pointless.

Sadly, this unique Chinese approach to cheaply copying public services whilst singularly failing to reproduce their sole useful element already has many prior precedents.

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