In the past one of my aunts was always complaining about how early things closed in Beijing and I always said that it wasn't quite as bad as she made it out to be, closing hours for a lot of the bigger malls was typically around 10 pm, which seemed reasonable. However, after spending a night at Wangfujing not too long ago and being in Tokyo now, I've come to agree with her, Beijing closes down way too early.
For a major, happening international city, its sort of disconcerting when so many places seem to turn off the lights at such an early hour. Now, I'm not advocating the entire city stay open all night, but when I was walking down Wangfujing on a Saturday night at 9:20 pm, it was shocking to see most of the stores were already starting to close down for the night. What??? This is the most famous shopping street in Beijing, and probably in all of China, and everything closes at 9:30 on a Saturday night and 9 pm during the week? Its not like the masses of people who shop in that area go away either, the street was still packed with people who had very few choices for a late night snack or to satisfy their desire for retail therapy. I'm pretty sure this will change during the Olympics, but it should stay open another hour later in general, considering the crowds that it draws.
I think 10 pm during the week and 10:30 on the weekend would be a lot better and would actually help the shops make some more money. Let's keep Beijing open!
And one more thing, it is really, really time to close Nanluoguxiang off to cars. Such a nice peaceful area is hard to come by in Beijing, so its annoying to regularly have to dodge cars as they go rumbling down the road. It's a pain for pedestrians and disturbs the tranquil environment.
Beijing, my beautiful Beijing, your problems certainly aren't limited to these, but these are two small things that won't be difficult to change and that will win you some points in the eyes of locals and visitors alike.