Yiwu small commodities market sees sales decline amid economic slowdown

The city of Yiwu, famous as a wholesale marketplace for small commodities trading, has felt the pain of the economic slowdown in Europe and the US. 

Many traders in this Zhejiang Province city now think back fondly on the not-so-distant past, when an estimated 210,000 merchants a day – including 13,000 from abroad – buzzed about in a marketplace of some 60,000 stalls, offering almost 2 million pieces of merchandise that ranged from Christmas ornaments to toys and jewelry. 

Yiwu was such a thriving marketplace that the State Council, China’s cabinet, made it home to the nation’s small commodity index – a barometer of global consumer goods prices. 

In the past, Yiwu merchants sold about two-thirds of their products to foreign buyers. Now, with Europe facing a debt crisis and recession and the United States in a somewhat slow and shaky recovery, orders are drying up and the once noisy marketplace has lost some of its buzz. 

“I am experiencing the worst times since I started my business in 2000,” said Liu Hua, general manager of the Lucky House Toy Factory. “Sales have dropped 10 percent in May alone.” 

Liu and her husband ran a factory with 50 workers in Yiwu, selling dolls and cartoon wallets at a market stall. Theirs was a pattern similar to that of many other traders in the city. At a high point in 2008, the couple was earning a 20 percent profit on its goods. 

Whereas foreign buyers once accounted for 80 percent of the merchandise Liu sold, that ratio has now turned domestic. Where once she dismissed domestic retail buyers, now she courts the droves of consumers who come to the city looking for bargains. Products wrapped in bulk for the wholesale trade have been torn open and repackaged to accommodate the smaller-lot domestic trade. 

A certain sense of despair spreads across the relatively new four-story, air-conditioned Yiwu marketplace. 

Merchants sit in front of their stalls with little to do but discuss bad times with fellow stall owners. Some sleep or while away the time playing computer games. Tele-controlled aircraft toys fly effortlessly through mostly empty passageways as vendors try to attract attention. 

Domestic market 

There are still foreign traders, mostly from India and the Middle East. They walk through the marketplace with their Chinese translators, browsing and asking about prices. If they want to buy, they can drive hard bargains. 

“Sales have dropped by up to 30 percent this year,” said Fu Chunhan, deputy market department manager of Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Ltd, operator of the Yiwu markets. “Foreign traders are more cautious, and most favor short-term orders.” 

The Yiwu small commodities index dropped 0.8 percent in the first three weeks of May to 103.94. It was 108.02 at the start of 2011. 

Yiwu merchants like Liu are scrambling to shift their focus to domestic buyers. 

“The domestic market now gives us better profits than the foreign market,” said Chen Peilang, executive manager of the Zhejiang Rose Umbrella Co, one of the biggest umbrella manufacturers in Zhejiang. 

Rose Umbrella’s domestic sales have risen to 50 percent of revenue from less than 30 percent in 2005. Chen said it hasn’t been easy for foreign-oriented manufacturers to suddenly shift to the domestic market because it takes time to build up brand familiarity. 

“Although Rose has been popular among European and Japan customers, most domestic clients still know only the Tiantang, or Paradise, an umbrella brand in Hangzhou,” he said, referring to the Zhejiang provincial capital. 

Down but not out

Yiwu’s leading trade Agent Yachina is one of the most successful trading companies in Yiwu. “Even though the world economy is yet to fulyl recover, your own effort and dedication to quality service counts the most. ” says Oliver Stone, the company General Manager, who owes his success to American standard service and quality control. Yachina’s total turnover doubled last year despite the dire economy .

Yiwu merchants may be down but they’re not out. To raise the profile of their brands in the domestic market, many have opened online stores.

Ai Shengming, 45, has been one of the more successful. 
Ai was losing money until he established an online store for his Mengchi Ornaments Factory in 2010. Clients can now design and build three-dimensional models on his website, with prompts from factory staff. 

“Most other Yiwu ornament companies need to have samples to show to their clients,” Ai said. “But I need only draw models with computer software, which saves on costs.” 

He said he received orders valued at more than 14 million yuan (US$2.21 million) last year from traders in Russia, the United States and Europe. 

That success hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Online store 

More than 70 percent stalls in the Yiwu market opened online stores in the wake of the European debt crisis, said market operator Fu. Broadband access is available to all stalls in the markets. 

“The city now has more than 50,000 online businessmen, with annual volume of 50 billion yuan, almost the same with that of the physical stalls in the market,” Fu said. 

To survive going ahead, Yiwu merchants must develop their own brands and move up the value chain, rather than relying on small profits from selling huge quantities of cheap goods, said Weng Jianping, deputy director of Yiwu’s Bureau of Commerce. 

Neoglory Group, a leading ornaments manufacturer in Yiwu, is a case in point. 

The ornaments maker developed the high-end brands Su and Tofu, which are mainly silver jewelry of such high quality that they were exhibited at the Paris Fashion Week, said Neoglory Ornament general manager Yu Jiangbo. 

The higher-end products and the company’s ties with global retailers like Sweden’s H&M have helped Neoglory remain profitable in these hard economic times, Yu said. 

Neoglory’s ornament production brought in revenue of about 1 billion yuan last year, dwarfing all the other similar manufacturers in the city. 

Neoglory is a typical sort of Yiwu success story – a small, tight-knit family business that grew into a major manufacturer. 

Yu, 27, is the elder son of the group’s president and is poised to take over the family empire some day. Thirty family members operate different sections of the company, and most live on the top floor of the company headquarters. 

Like most first-generation merchants in Yiwu, Yu’s parents began their business in the early 1980s, making handicrafts like embroidered goods and shoes in a small home workshop and selling them to cities across the Yangtze River Delta. 

In 1983, when the Yiwu government built the first market for traveling merchants, Yu’s parents were among the first to set up a stall. 

In 1995, his parents borrowed several million yuan to establish their own factories and began selling ornaments and crystal glass to foreign traders. Today Neoglory Ornament is the largest ornaments maker in Asia, with 5,600 employees and total assets of 250 million yuan. 

“Yiwu was a poor agricultural area, and many farmers were forced to leave the land and try their luck at small workshops,” said Ma Lihong, deputy president of the Party School of the Zhejiang Committee of the Communist Party of China. “The city government developed the markets to serve them, and that’s how the big Yiwu marketplace began.” 

The marketplace prospered along with China’s economy. After the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Yiwu’s markets became popular with Arab traders who found entry into the US more difficult. 

In 2005, the United Nations and World Bank designated Yiwu as “the world’s biggest wholesale market for small commodities.” 

Yu Jiangbo, general manager of Neoglory Ornament 

Shanghai Daily: What have you achieved during the past decade? 
Yu Jiangbo: In 2006, my mother, chairman of the company, recruited many professional managers to try to boost the sales of ornaments, but they all failed. At that time, I had graduated from the Imperial College in London, and my mother gave me a chance to be the general manager. I have managed to develop the company’s own brands, and our ornament sales have dwarfed all the other similar manufacturers in Yiwu. 

SD: What’s the biggest mistake most businesses in your area make in looking at the future? 

Yu: Most local companies do everything by themselves – from design and manufacturing, to marketing and sales. In the ornament industry, I think they should outsource the manufacturing to save labor costs and concentrate on design and marketing. My company did so beginning last year and has cut costs by 40 percent. 

SD: What would you most like to see in China’s development planning? 

Yu: The appreciation of the yuan in recent years has added pressure to the export of local ornament makers. I hope the government can do something, like export tax refunds, to relieve the pressure. 

SD: What’s your biggest concern? 

Yu: I am afraid the impact from the economic slowdown in Europe and the US is just at the beginning and may continue for a long period. 

Located in the middle of Zhejiang Province, Yiwu is more than 300 kilometers from Shanghai. 

Besides its famous wholesale markets, its economic base rests on industries such as knit hosiery, fashion jewelry and clothing accessories. It has also come to be called “sock town” because it makes more than 3 billion pairs of socks for Wal-Mart and other foreign buyers. 

In 2011, the city had industrial output of 141.1 billion yuan (US$22.4 billion), up 21 percent from a year earlier. The city has the biggest service sector in Zhejiang Province. 

Yiwu, founded in about 222 BC, also has a rich cultural heritage that includes traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy, kung fu and folk arts. 


square kilometers 


registered population 

6 towns 

How to get there: 

Take a train from Shanghai Hongqiao Raiway Station to Yiwu. The No. 803 bus is needed to the Nanfanglian Station before having the Bus No.311/312/313 to the town. 

A drive along the G92 Expressway takes about 3.5 hours.

China anti-prostitution raid: One more Indian held –

One more Indian trader was detained in China on charges of indulging in prostitution in addition to the four already held in Shanghai for the offence.

An Indian trader, based in Yiwu, which housed China’s biggest wholesale commodity market was arrested in an anti-prostitution raid by the local police during the last weekend, Indian officials said.

The Indian Consulate in Shanghai was informed about the detention of the trader today.

Already four Indian businessmen, part of a 100 member Indian delegation attending a commercial fair were arrested in Shanghai three days ago in a similar raid.

They are still in detention and the Indian officials were expected to meet them after May 3 as China is shut down for the May Day holidays.

All the five were expected to be deported at the end their detention in the coming days.

Indian officials say that such cases are becoming more regular as the trade picked up between the two countries. Over a hundred Indian traders stayed put in Yiwu sourcing large number of commodities for Indian markets.

Last year alone over USD two billion worth of goods were reported to have been sourced from there to India.

However Yiwu was also acquired the notoriety for ruthless trade practices as two Indians, Shyam Sunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja, stated to be employees of a trading company were kidnapped and held in illegal custody for about fortnight after their company failed to make payments for the goods purchased.

They were released after the intervention of the Indian Consulate in Shanghai and are currently facing a court case.

Following the case the Indian Embassy here issued strong advisory highlighting problems in conducting business at Yiwu.

Earlier 13 Indian diamond merchants were released and 10 others were convicted for smuggling.

Yiwu Sixty elderly extort 20,000 yuan by a 33-year-old “girlfriend” with sex photos

News Yiwu, Zhejiang, April 27, old Gui, 60-year-old, a house for rent, enough to live comfortably.      One day in early April, the door of the old home Gui suddenly into a picture, he saw the incredible, even the nude, and is doing the indecent action.     Angry the Boxun boxun.com old Gui shame and, his hands tightly pinch the photos, his heart already know, this thing is who do.     Drink chaos, close friends with the “One Night Stand”     thing from talking about a chance encounter.    The day of the second half of last year, the old Gui encountered in the district where the Xiaoying. 33-year-old, she is from Jiangxi Shangrao, a 7-year-old child, usually playing the work, life is a considerable constraints.     Xiaoying rental district in the old Gui, quite a bit pretty. Although the age difference of nearly 30 years old, but one second to go, the old Gui and Xiaoying became “close friends”.    The first late-night conversation, the two “friendship” lukewarm.    Last November at 78 o’clock, old Gui to the Xiaoying call, say you want to talk to her room. Hesitated, Xiaoying agreed.     At that time, old Gui, drink some wine, see wearing pajamas Xiaoying, and it would hold out. After a while all hands, the two half-hearted relationship.    “Girlfriend” offer, took the opportunity to secretly photographed nude     old Gui unexpected, two relationship Xiaoying was proposed to the old Gui give her 5000 dollars. Although uncomfortable, old Gui did not say anything, go home to take the money.     The next night, seven or eight o’clock, old Gui received Xiaoying phone, “she let me in the past to sit, I passed.”     They happen again relationship.     A few days later, Xiaoying gave the old Gui phone call, “she said a little something to look at me, I went to her rental, saw twenty or thirty of the nude.”     according to the screen, the old Gui determine That is the two second relationship secretly photographed.     Xiaoying, and then to 5000 yuan. Old Gui and forced back the hearts of anger, and again to do so. But his current Xiaoying wrote a note, take the money and then not look for trouble.     Third extortion, the old man to select the alarm to     write a guarantee letter, Xiaoying really fulfill its commitments, not only moved away from the original cell, and no longer contact with the old Gui.     Unexpectedly, April 7, old Gui also found in the door nude.     “You in the end What do you mean?” Angry old Gui immediately called Xiaoying phone.     The Xiaoying answered very directly: “You give me 10,000 yuan, I took photos to you.”     old Gui spot compromise, but has been dragging money. April 23, ponder over and over again the old Gui walked into the local police station.     According to police arrangement, the old Gui pretend money, and about Xiaoying meet. When Xiaoying with nude appointment by the police, stolen goods.

Seven of spades turns himself in to yiwu police

'Seven of spades' turns himself in

A suspected murderer who had been on the run for eight years is in police custody in the city ofYiwu in Zhejiang province.

Liu Rongwan, born in 1965, turned himself in on April 12.

Liu said he gave himself up because he could not endure life on the run.

“I lived in fear all these years,” Liu told police.

Liu said he traveled throughout Guangdong, Fujian, Hunan, and Zhejiang provinces and theGuangxi Zhuang autonomous region using a fake identity card.

A native of Gaozhou city in the western part of Guangdong province, Liu was the “seven ofspades” in the deck of cards issued by Guangzhou police, which contains detailed informationon 54 wanted criminals.

More than 70 percent of the fugitives on the cards are suspected of murder. The cards havebeen widely distributed in hopes of capturing the suspects.

Liu was the first of the 54 to turn himself in.

Police in Guangzhou’s Luogang district set up a task force to investigate the case after theyfound a woman’s body in a farm in Tianxin village on March 15, 2004.

The victim, surnamed Xu, worked in Liu’s booth at the Dongping agricultural bazaar inGuangzhou’s Baiyun district. Liu disappeared shortly after her body was found.

Liu told police he and Xu became involved, but later had a falling out. After a quarrel in Liu’svan, Liu killed Xu.

While searching for Liu, police also asked Liu’s family to persuade him to surrender, accordingto Guangzhou police.

Police urge other fugitives to follow Liu’s example and turn themselves in.

Zheng Caixiong

Yiwu jewelry market scale and the future development trend

In recent years, the jewelry industry from the jewelry, gifts and crafts industry separated, comprehensive formed a new industry. As a new economic growth point of jewelry, developed countries has gradually to mature. Various grades of stores, outlets dotted; All sorts of design, various levels of products fully meet the growing market demand. And in mainland China, the industry is still at an early stage of development. Along with the social economy, the culture of the leap development, people were going from WenBaoXing into xiaokang society, advocate the human nature and fashion, and constantly character and charm, has become a people’s pursuit
Yiwu city jewelry industry originated in the change after the opening of eighty s, in 1982 yiwu people from Hong Kong to act the role of article to wholesale. Due to the high cost a small profit, commodity market is acted the role of article manage door increase very soon, in 1992, yiwu city farms act the role of article had hundreds of business, the market for this established a special trade sector, but are not yiwu local enterprise. That same year, yiwu people made the first local accessories factory, since then, yiwu jewelry industry development is rapid, at present has emerged in a home to more than 3800 specialized is engaged in the jewelry manufacturer. This paper yiwu yiwu decoration industry in recent years the development situation of a review and analysis, and the next few years the development trend of yiwu decoration industry characteristics and put forward his opinion.


four, yiwu area jewelry sales three main sales channel

【 jewelry industry export situation analysis 】
A, yiwu city on the field of the accessories sales year-on-year growth of the 30, foreign trade exports account for seventy percent in 2002, yiwu decoration industry sales more than 8 billion yuan, become the nation’s largest jewelry production base, 2003 years sales reach more than 10 billion yuan, in 2004 total sales to preliminary statistics 12 billion yuan. In recent years, yiwu decoration industry rapid growth and made gratifying situation is obvious to the facts
Second, in 2005 the export of yiwu ornaments export steady growth, is expected to remain in the first class hardware accessories national accessories sales more than 100 yuan, adorn article production base to Qingdao, guangzhou, yiwu form the potential of the tripartite confrontation, it is estimated that by 2010 China act the role of tasted sales will be more than 180 billion yuan RMB, the of the world total sales of more than 10. In 2005 the export of yiwu jewelry stable growth and expect 2005 adorn article exports will exceed 17 billion yuan RMB, among them, the metal ornaments export growth 46.32%; Plastic accessories increased 30.25%; Glass jewelry, up 26.82%; In addition jewelry, resin adorn article, shell, other products export also have maintained rapid growth.
Three, yiwu adorn article variety in yiwu production more than 20 varieties ornaments, preliminary statistics yiwu each jewelry enterprise around more than kinds of new fund adorn article listed. Adorn article mainly divided into necklace, bracelet, earring, ring, bag act the role ofing, brooches, brooch, hair circle, JiaoJuan, buttons, chain.scarves buckle, belt buckles, tie clips, hairpin, and all kinds of alloy, claw chains, copper, silver, acrylic, plastic, resin, glass, cloth, wood, stone, pearl, shells, skin, precious stones, and gold jewelry, electronic products. Cheap, larger sales to win

(a) to China yiwu international trade city a period for sales base. China commodity city is based on the development needs of the international market with built in modern wholesale market. The first period engineering investment of 600 million yuan, on 28 September 2002 built and put into use. The project covers an area of 420 mu, and building area of 340000 square meters, the main market, production enterprise set up direct marketing center, commodity procurement center, storage center, catering center five areas, there are more than 9000 ShangWei more than 10000 households manage door. And with 179 countries and regions in the yiwu business institutions established at 221, almost 50000 people a year to yiwu purchasing goods
(2) of foreign trade and economic cooperation shall hand out its decision jiang province, yiwu city people’s G_O_V at the China yiwu international small commodities fair as the platform. In 2004, for example, China yiwu international small commodities fair trade volume of 7.43 billion yuan realize exhibition, foreign trade volume of 563 million us dollars, accounting for the total turnover of 62.9; Pavilion area more than 70000 square meters, the establishment of an international 3000 standard booths, 1700 exhibitors were from the United States, France, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Singapore, more than 20 countries and the area, with 142 countries and regions in 12312 foreign purchasing exposition.
(3) the traditional department stores, supermarkets, adorn article chain stores. And thousands of home engaged in the foreign trade companies, and traditional department stores, supermarkets, adorn article chain stores.
Five, yiwu jewelry enterprise in the face of the fierce competition in the industry, with a strong momentum of development proud squealing industry.
(a) yiwu in price competition advantage. Yiwu jewelry industry has a including product development, material supply, logistics and distribution and product sales, the industry chain, with the aid of the local market advantages rapid development. Yiwu jewelry industry is the typical labor-intensive industries. For example: brooch, necklace, headdress flower, bracelets, etc. The production material, make simple cheap, the low price sale, in order to small profits and quick turnover for the purpose. In recent years, China’s jewelry is in the ascendant, with a strong momentum of development proud squealing industry. After a recent development, yiwu production act the role of article and the north of the Qingdao and on the south side of the guangzhou formed the jewelry industry of the three pillars of pattern. So far, yiwu is China decoration industry production and marketing center, of China’s total sales of 70 / strong >
(2) yiwu in categories competition yiwu act the role of article production enterprise now of more than 3000, production of more than 20, engaged in the production, distribution of ornaments have more than 100000 people, more than 120 annual sales of, of which 70% exported to abroad. Yiwu adorn article not only in designs and varieties, quality price advantage, important is in design respect has lead the international trend, popular in Hong Kong. Quality competition:
(3) yiwu enterprise brand is very competitive domestic market affinity, the better the market share the higher, the country to brand are unusually fierce in competition. Shenzhen art China, east company’s, the beauty, the drill international, he loves to get jewelry, shenzhen together, HongFu jewelry, margin porch XianLu jewelry, anhui blue god, shenzhen sincere beauty, shenzhen JinDaFu, prestige jewelry, shenzhen green, warp and weft jewelry, shenzhen jintai, suzhou is so, wanfu jewelry, J P L, Qingdao days red