Yiwu International Trade City

Yiwu International Trade City (Chinese: 义乌国际商贸城), also known as the Yiwu Market, is the primary wholesale market complex in Yiwu, Zhejiang, China. According to the World Bank, it is the world's largest small commodities market.[3][4] In 2022, the market sold around US$70 billion of goods.[5]

Yiwu International Trade City
Yiwu International Trade City in 2017
Yiwu International Trade City is located in China
Yiwu International Trade City
Location within China
Alternative namesChina Commodity City
General information
TypeWholesale market
LocationYiwu, Zhejiang, China
Coordinates29°20′23″N 120°06′40″E / 29.33972°N 120.11111°E / 29.33972; 120.11111
Inaugurated22 October 2002[1]
OwnerYiwu Municipal Government
Technical details
Floor count5
Floor area5,500,000 m2 (59,000,000 sq ft)[2]
Other information
Number of stores75,000+[2]

History edit

In the early 1980s, Yiwu was an impoverished rural county historically known for its small traders, who mostly bartered sugar for chicken feathers during the Qing dynasty. However, the Chinese Communist Party banned the practice as "capitalist activity" after taking power in 1949. Although the Chinese government initiated the reform and opening policy in 1978, selling things for profit by private citizens was still banned in practice.[6][better source needed]

In April 1982, Xie Gaohua was appointed Party Secretary of Yiwu. A month after his arrival, a street vendor named Feng Aiqian (冯爱倩) complained to him that her goods were repeatedly confiscated by county authorities and questioned why she was not allowed to sell goods to support her poor family. After their conversation, Xie travelled to Wenzhou, the first Chinese city to allow private enterprises, to conduct research, and decided that building a free market was compatible with national policies.[6][7]

In September 1982, Xie announced the establishment of Huqingmen Market (湖清门市场) in Yiwu under the guideline of "four permissions": permissions for farmers to enter the city, to conduct business, to engage in long-haul trading, and to compete with both state enterprises and private individuals.[6][8] This was the first time in the People's Republic of China that a local government legalized a free market for farmers.[6][7]

When the market was opened in November 1982, it merely consisted of a few hundred sheds and stalls,[6] but proved highly popular and grew quickly. In 1983, the county government spent 580,000 yuan (US$293,567) to build a new market consisting of booths. By the end of that year, there were more than 1,000 vendors selling over 3,000 products, most of them from outside of Yiwu.[5]

In October 1984, Xie proposed a new development strategy for Yiwu, with market trading as its pillar industry.[6] Although he was transferred out of the county soon afterwards, the Yiwu Market continued its rapid growth and was rebuilt and expanded multiple times.[3] The number of market booths exceeded 10,000 in 1991.[9] In 2005, the World Bank called it "the world's largest small commodities market",[3][4] and by 2013, it attracted more than 20,000 customers daily from all over the world and sold US$11 billion of goods annually.[5]

Layout edit

An entrance to District 3

The market is divided into 5 districts covering an area of 4 million square meters for 75,000 booths where 100,000 suppliers exhibit 400,000 kinds of products.[10] The products come from around 40 industries and include 2,000 different categories of goods.[citation needed]

Given its size and the variety of booths selling different items, the market is a vast labyrinth. A photographer documenting the market told CNN: "I spent a total of four days constantly walking around Yiwu and wouldn't say I got near to seeing all of the stalls."[10]

District 1 edit

Initial construction of the first complex of the market began in 2001 and was opened on 22 October 2002. District 1 covers an area of 340,000 m2 (3,700,000 sq ft) hosting 9000 booths and over 10,500 businesses. The complex cost ¥700 million to construct.[citation needed]

District 2 edit

District 2 (F & G) opened on 22 October 2004, providing over 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft) of floor space for over 8000 booths and 10,000 businesses.[citation needed]

District 3/4 edit

Work on the complex was constructed in two phases. The first phase finished in October 2008, while the second phase was completed on 21 October 2008. It covers an area of 560,000 m2 (6,000,000 sq ft) with 1,739,000 m2 (18,720,000 sq ft) of floor space within the complex. The building provides room for 14,000 booths.[citation needed]

District 5 edit

Congolese masks in the Yiwu Africa Products Exhibition Center in District 5

On 5 May 2011, District 5 was completed at a cost of ¥1.42 billion. 5 storeys high with 2 underground storeys, it covers an area of 640,000 m2 (6,900,000 sq ft), providing space for over 7,000 booths and shops.[10]

References edit

  1. ^ "International Trade City". yiwuchina.org. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Roxburgh, Helen (23 March 2017). "Welcome to Yiwu: China's testing ground for a multicultural city". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b c He, Shan (9 May 2018). "Xie Gaohua: Founding father of world's largest small commodities market". China.org.cn. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b Spencer, Richard (24 November 2005). "The biggest junk shop that was made in China". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Zhang, Fan (2018). The Institutional Evolution of China: Government vs Market. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-78471-691-2.
  6. ^ a b c d e f He, Shan (2018). "Yiwu: City of reform". State Council Information Office. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b Xu Pengfei 许腾飞 (23 October 2019). ""改革先锋"、义乌老书记谢高华去世". The Beijing News. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  8. ^ Gu, Yikang; Shao, Feng (2019). Rural Reform And Development: A Case Study of China's Zhejiang Province. World Scientific. p. 187. ISBN 9789811204777.
  9. ^ Furuta, Kazuko; Grove, Linda (2017). Imitation, Counterfeiting and the Quality of Goods in Modern Asian History. Springer. p. 268. ISBN 978-981-10-3752-8.
  10. ^ a b c Benazir Wehelie. "No shortage of color in 'Commodity City' - CNN". CNN. Retrieved 19 September 2018.

Further reading edit

External links edit