Sanlitun is an area of the Chaoyang
containing many popular bar streets and international stores.The area has been under almost constant regeneration since the late 20th century as part of a city-wide project of economic regrowth. It currently houses many bars and clubs popular with both expatriates and locals as well as international brand-name stores such as American Apparel, Apple Inc. and Adidas.
It is notable for housing the largest Adidas store in the world. In recent years, the Sanlitun Village shopping mall has become a popular destination for both expatriates and young Chinese. The Ya Show (雅秀) market is also in the area, a popular destination for tourists wishing to buy counterfeit clothes.
Prior to 1949, the Beijing Legation Quarter was the center of diplomatic activity in the capital. After the foundation of the People's Republic of China
, the government wanted to move the diplomatic district outside the inner city. Sanlitun was chosen as the area where foreign legations and embassies to be reallocated in the late 1950s. The area was called Sanlitun to designate its location from Dongzhimen gate (东直门). With tun means 'locality', san li means 'three li' (a li is 0.5 km), the name is translated as 1.5 km away (from Dongzhimen Gate).