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The global coronavirus pandemic created strict border controls in China , but the ability of the country to contain the virus has allowed people within China to live a reasonably normal life for the past six months. And as Chinese people look toward domestic tourism to scratch that travel fix , a small but growing number has been taking the road less traveled , and RVs are suddenly a popular transportation mode. “We took in the Great Wall, Miaofeng Mountain and the Fragrant Hills,” says Zhou Ziyan who, for around US$140 a day, booked an RV in October. “Booking hotels is troublesome. I enjoy the feeling of camping. We could just leave the vehicle and enjoy the starry nights whenever we wanted.” Wild camping is legal in the mainland, as long as no fires are lit. Such freedom is increasingly appealing to mainland Chinese in the Covid-19 era: according to figures from data platform Qichacha, 849 companies related to RV rental were established in China in the second quarter of 2020, a 36% year-on-year increase. In China, renters of RVs may either stipulate when and where they intend to return their vehicle, or follow a route and itinerary designed by the company they rent from. “We partner with local travel groups for the programs,” says Yao Liwan, president of SAIC Maxus RV Technology, a sector of the state-owned SAIC Motor Company. People in China will often rent an RV and take them on a pre-determined route before returning the […]