China Statistics that Shock the World, a report jointly promulgated by the United Nations, the World Bank and Morgan Stanley stated, “Yiwu, 300 kilometers away from Shanghai, is the world’s largest small commodities wholesale market.” At first glance, Yiwu does not seem like an ideal location for major business to be conducted. It is located neither near the border nor near the coastline, and is poor in natural resources. However, it developed from a remote, poor city to the world’s biggest small commodities wholesale market. There are 58,000 booths and 25,000 industrial enterprises providing over 400,000 different kinds of commodities among the world’s total 500,000 types of goods. In addition to this variety of products, Yiwu also offers these small commodities for close to the world’s lowest prices. Over 200,000 visitors come to the city everyday, including 2,000 foreigners
Yiwu: the world’s biggest market
Yiwu has become one of China’s top four biggest shirt production bases. Its influence extends not only throughout, China but also throughout the whole world. Now it has become the procurement base of Carrefour. Also, Yiwu has a international trade city, which has a total construction area of 283 hectares. Over 70% of the products in Yiwu are sold to the Middle east, African countries, Europe and America. In Yiwu, there are many big companies manufacturing small commodities and exporting them to many Western and East Asian countries. There are 7 China Famous Brands and 36 Zhejiang Famous Brands operating in Yiwu. A surprising fact is that 80% of the world’s zippers come from Yiwu.
In addition to the multitude of Chinese companies that operate in Yiwu, the city is a hub for the sale of foreign imports. Crystals from Brazil, ebony from Africa, olive oil from Spain, porcelain from Japan, wine from America and baby supplies from South Korea can all be found here.
The reason for Yiwu market‘s success
There are multiple factors explaining how a city like Yiwu developed into such a success:
- Long-term support from the government
- Clear recognition of its own advantages and the market’s needs
- High-quality work and service simultaneously lowered administration and transaction costs
- The separation of administration and execution has prevented corruption
- The local commercial supervision department issued many punishments for counterfeit or poor quality products
- The government holds classes for merchants in Yiwu, teaching them the relevant laws and regulations, and some computer skills.
Yiwu in the era of information
In 2003, Yiwu’s created its online small commodities market (www.onccc.com) and established long-term partnerships with internet giants such as Yahoo, Google, and Alibaba. Now, it has about 100,000 registered members, 64,000 registered suppliers, and annual traffic of about 180,000,000 hits. With its high-quality administration and its new development methods, it has set the standard for China’s professional wholesales market.