Yiwu Video Report

This is an unorthodox Chinese city.

Firstly, Non-natives has lately exceeded natives by seventy-four thousand, reaching 754,000.(in 2006)

Secondly, Possessed with a history as a city for less than 20 years, Yiwu has miraculously emerged into a biz spectacle in China.

Well, here I am in Yiwu. I am surprised that such a small city as it is has its own airport. And I have been told that quite a lot of money can be spent in this city. And I am just wondering how many bags I should prepare to take home all my goods in.

This is Yiwu city, in Zhejiang Province. In a class of its own, this inland city takes on the form of stretches of specialised commodity markets, just this one behind me. What deserves close attention, however, is that fact that there are around 5,000 foreign residents here, most of whom are businessmen. I am certain that the inside stories of all these outsiders should be very interesting. I am Victoria Hamilton. Welcome to this edition of Rediscovering China.

futian wholes market

In a sense, the whole city of Yiwu can be seen as a megamarket. A business-related population of 160,000 handles a kaleidoscopic variety of commodities for daily use, such as handiworks, ornaments, cosmetics, toys, knitwear, and timepieces, totaling 320,000 odd categories. Three business concentrations and over 20 specialized streets are distributed throughout the city, measuring 1,500,000 square meters. The products are exported to 200 countries and areas. Exports account for 50% of the overall trade volume.

I am sure I have seen the box like this before. I understand around 80% of christmas goods are exported from Yiwu to other countries. And you can see it opens up into two boxes. It is beautiful and it takes me to a Jane Austin era when all the ladies will be carrying their most valuble possessions in a box like this. It is very obvious to see why foreign businessmen come to Yiwu to work here, and make profit from here.

Today's Yiwu is a refined blend of antiquity and modernity. Yiwu, as a county, came into being over 2200 years ago. Locals used to earn a living as roaming peddlers through the system of interregional barter, which dates back 600 years. Tiny-scale markets selling any buyable objects formed at random.

Yiwu, measuring 1,105 square kilometers, almost the same size as Hongkong, richly deserves a second scrupulous look to demystify its super rapid growth. Now, it is among the top 20 richest county-level cities. It lies in the central part of Zhejiang, which is situated in Southeast China and in the Shanghai economic circle. If there really is any natural advantage to speak of, that would be the excellent transport service revolving around Yiwu. Nowadays, Yiwu has a perfect environment and facilities all tailored to a business-oriented city. China Yiwu International Commodities held annually, attracts over 10,000 foreign businessmen. About 300 foreign companies have located their agents here.

The smell of business penetrates the city of Yiwu. If truth be told, it has not been an easy task finding people who can afford the time to be filmed, especially foreign businessmen. Almost everyone has just one thing on their mind, getting rich.

Khalid Ali, General Manager of an import trading company, has set up his office in downtown Yiwu. It serves as an agent representative of its headquarters back in Tunesia, where he is one of the major shareholders。


This Palestinian by birth moved to Yiwu in 1999.At the time, he was attracted by the diversity of tools sold in the Yiwu market, like a boy stepping into the corner shop in his own neighborhood, secretly amazed and amused by the curiosities on the shelf. But that’s just the beginning of the story. What finally halted his steps was the following:

Yes, anyone can do business in Yiwu for no special reason. Here is a street specializing in up market dresses. Mr.Ali’s Chinese wife kills time by running such a shop. Now her focus is on their son, loved dearly by her husband . Ali missed his Beijing years when he was a young guy studying Chinese literature. Then, foreigners were eye-catching rarities. But now, even Yiwu natives cut foreigners dead. But then again, it is comforting to easily be able to get hold of anthentic coffee here, which all comes along with the extraordinary social advances.

From cctv.com 06-28-2005 16:00

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