The city cousin of the Diaolou towers in the countryside, these Qilou ("Riding Buildings") strech over the sidewalk and form a continuous arcade - 3 kilometers in Chikan.
These types of buildings were first created in places like Singapore (known as the ShopHouse) and Hong Kong by Europeans who used the shop level and lived on the second and third level. These became quickly popular for the locals as well and this type was brought back to Guangzhou and built in styles from Gothic, Baroque, Modermisme and traditional Chinese. There was also a 'form-based' code that dictated the heights of the floors and a limit to 4 stories that was in place by 1898.
A very interesting and adaptable building type for creating density while keeping good streetspace.