>> Once a natural resource boom town, now a casualty of China's stumbling economy. Yulin used to be a poster child for Beijing's plan to pivot away from industry and towards services, cashing in on its location along the Great Wall, trying to turn itself into a tourist destination. But Reuters Sue-Lin Wong reports since then, it's been a struggle.
>> A lot of people have left Yulin as the economy has sagged and as jobs have disappeared. Demand for everything from taxis to restaurants to rental apartments has also fallen with it. For smaller cities, it's difficult to rely heavily on services to boost the local economy because the population isn't necessarily there and you also have people leaving small cities to go and spend money in bigger cities.
We heard a lot of people will earn money in Yulin but go to Xi'an, which is the big city nearby that is home to the famous Chinese terracotta warriors and they'll spend their money there instead.>> Besides failing to get locals to spend their money at home, Yulin also failed to bring in international tourists.
Now its big economic plans are taking a toll.>> The situation on the ground in Yulin was pretty grim. Almost every single person I spoke to told me of how suicide has touched their family. Because of a family or a friend who wasn't able to pay off their debts, and saw that their interest payments were just getting higher and higher as the economy slowed and slowed.
>> Also hit by the slowdown, big brands Walmart and DOW Chemical, which pulled out of Yulin last year. Meanwhile, the same stuff Yulin was trying so hard to let go coal, oil and gas are keeping the city afloat after all. A lesson for other Chinese cities also eyeing the service sector dream.