In beijing, there are certain areas where you are always approached by scammers / hawkers, and they always try to sell you the same thing. There doesn't seem to be a particular reason for those type of scammers to hang out in that particular area, but they do, and keep it up for years and years.
Between Landau and Buy Nao Hui, a couple of markets, there is a place where there is always a woman holding a baby who will approach you and offer you "sex DVD". It's not always the same woman. She clearly speaks no english. Someone has been there, doing this business, since at least 2004.
Along crappy bar street, the eastern part of san li tun, there are always guys standing there who whisper "lady bar". They've been there for years - since there were apartment buildings on the other side of the street, through the time they got demolished. For a short time when the Village was first built, they moved over to the west side of the street. They are still going strong in 2012.
The east side of San Li Tun bei lu has a line of bars. They're all named after numbers - 44 bar, 56 bar, and some of them have other musical themes. They all have touts outside. They are all expensive, and have the same type of big, fake plastic signs. They all have sexy lady singers. During the summer, local construction workers stand across the street ogling confusedly at the girls on stage.
It seems like some effort has been made to distinguish between them, but not enough - they're obviously all connected in some way. Are they all owned by the same person? It seems like a government sponsored idea of a bar street, or like something out of North Korea, or disneyland.
How do they keep going year after year, without spreading or dying out? If hawking sex dvds is profitable, they should do it in more places in beijing. If it's not, why do they still bother doing it at all?
Maybe each one of them just has a guy who knows how to make money at it, with the right police connections to survive, who keeps it going, but isn't a businessman. As new areas of Beijing have expanded, those types of guys didn't have the same connection level with the authorities.
It's not a coincidence that they happen at two of the oldest foreigner areas of beijing, landau and san li tun.
For over 8 years, the Dongzhimen area has been a haven for street sellers. The tunnel leading from subway exit A (nw corner, by yinzuo/mcdonalds) to D (now a bus station) used to be full of sellers - they rebuilt it around 2007, and now it's even more crowded, full of garbage and pushy corn/DVD/tibetian jewelry sellers. The front of the bus station is now a constant battle zone between chengguan and sellers, too.
In general, there are beggars in most places foreigners go, but not very many.
I don't understand what stops all the beggars from concentrating in the same area. The observed begger concentration seems pretty near the ideal - but how is it regulated? Almost every individual beggar in the city has personal motivation to move to foreigner areas, yet they don't. Is there some kind of organization regulating this?