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Impressions of Wenzhou: People of excellence, land of wisdom (4)

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    18:10, September 04, 2020

4. Expanding business empire

Five Horses Street, the most famous business street in Wenzhou. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

There is an old saying in Wenzhou: the city is 7/10 mountains, 1/10 water, and 2/10 farmland. Due to its cultural and geographical remoteness and its lack of natural resources, locals have always been driven to find new opportunities far beyond the sea or deeper inland, giving them their independent, self-reliant and business-oriented character.

With their sharp minds and business acumen, many Wenzhou merchants have travelled overseas to find new opportunities. After accumulating their fortunes, they have become the largest overseas-Chinese group, with a population of almost 690,000 in over 130 countries, and have created many business organisations and unions helping Wenzhounese to extend their business reach all over the world. After China switched from the planned economy to a socialist economy with Chinese characteristics in the late 1980s, Wenzhou businessmen seized the opportunity and adjusted well to the new system, becoming the leading power in China’s new economic landscape.

Wenzhou is now a modern city with vibrant business atmosphere. (People's Daily Online/He Zhuoyan)

The people of Wenzhou have a reputation for sharp business sense and commercial culture. Their hometown was a pioneer of the market economy, and continues to thrive to this day.

The vibrant business vibe in Wenzhou is a sign of the momentum of the city’s development. Despite being one of the cities most severely hit by COVID-19 in China, from January to May 2020, the city’s export volume reached 54.1 billion RMB, a year-on-year growth of 0.7 percent, while in May alone, the export volume reached 14.5 billion RMB, a growth rate of 10.6 percent. Over 30,000 new enterprises were formed during the pandemic, demonstrating the city’s resilience and economic power.


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