Yiwu in E China's Zhejiang enjoys continuous success with innovation spirit

(People's Daily Online) 10:49, January 06, 2023

Yiwu was once a small town in east China's Zhejiang Province, but by keeping up with the changing times and upholding a spirit of innovation over the last 40 years, has transformed itself into a trade hub for daily commodities.

A Yemeni trader selects tea pots at the Yiwu International Trade Market in Yiwu city of East China's Zhejiang province, Jan 14, 2021. (Photo/Xinhua)

Yiwu’s exports and imports for the first 11 months of 2022 reached 442.22 billion yuan (about $64.21 billion), up by 24.1 percent year on year, despite the complex international landscape and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the years, Yiwu has followed the prevailing trends and launched a number of new products. Zhejiang Lanyu Digital Technology Co., Ltd. once brought great changes to the textile industry with its innovative digital textile printing machine. In just six months, the output value of the 46 enterprises that used the new machine surged by 300 percent, with a profit margin of 200 percent.

Nowadays, merchants in Yiwu are also paying greater attention to the design of commodities. “I’ve been in Yiwu for five years. The success of my business used to hinge on the low prices of products, but now, I attach great importance to the design,” explained Sun Lingjuan, who owns an accessories business. Sun’s company rolls out about 1,500 pairs of earrings, 1,500 bracelets and necklaces every year, and has clients in Europe and Africa.

Furthermore, an online platform called Chinagoods was launched at the end of 2020, which provided services including procurement, delivery, tax, international storage, logistics, and payment collection for the merchants, winning a great deal of praise from them. The transaction value on the platform reached 16.8 billion yuan in 2021. 

Ren Xiaoling, who runs a stationery business, always promotes her products by uploading short videos on the platform. “Business owners prefer a mode that integrates online and offline promotion,” Ren said.

Fu Miaoling, general manager of a bamboo and wood products company, was one of the first batch of merchants to register on the platform. Fu said she used to have to wait for clients in her brick-and-mortar store, but thanks to Chinagoods, she now reaches a wider range of customers. “Most of the orders I received after October 2022 were placed online,” she disclosed.

Today, the platform has incorporated more functions, such as easier forex settlement procedures and multi-language translation. So far, 55,000 merchants and over 2.1 million purchasers have registered on the platform, where more than 5 million products are displayed.

Moreover, Yiwu has remained committed to going global. The first Yiwu Market opened in Dubai in June 2022. With a total investment of some 1.06 billion yuan, the market covers over 200,000 square meters. Purchasers can see the samples and then place orders in the market in Dubai.

A cargo route linking Yiwu with Europe via Xinjiang in northwest China was launched in 2014. By the end of November 2022, the train services had registered a total of nearly 2,000 trips.

Yiwu has built 156 overseas warehouses. “Our company builds overseas warehouses to provide storage, sales and delivery services for our clients in other countries,” said Zhu Rongfang, general manager of a logistics management company in Yiwu. “Merchants used to wait for foreign clients to come to Yiwu, but more merchants will choose to set up overseas warehouses in the future,” Zhu added. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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