You might never hear of Yiwu, but you definitely own a number of items, which come from there.
Yiwu, a county-level city of about 1,000,000 people in central Zhejiang Province near the central eastern coast of China, however, if China is the world's factory, then Yiwu, not Beijing, is its capital.
Yiwu, known as China Commodity City is home to the Yiwu International Trade City. The market has been named by the UN, World Bank, and JP Morgan, among others, as the "largest small commodity wholesale market" in the world.
Founded in 1982, this mega center spans over 46 million sq. ft., and employs 200,000 workers with 62,000 booths inside. From 9 am to 5 pm, over 100,000 suppliers exhibit 400,000 different kinds of products and 65% of these products are exported to over 215 countries and regions.
Over 210,000 shoppers browse the merchandise every day. It is divided into 5 districts: International Trade Mall Districts 1-5 and Huangyuan Clothing Market, together making up the shopping giant.
1) International Trade Mall District 1
District 1 has four floors and a vast array of merchandise. The first floor is home to fake flowers, flower accessories and a wide range of toys. The second floor stocks accessories and jewellery and the third floor houses decorative items. The fourth floor is an outlet center selling high quality ceramics, crystal and glass.
2) International Trade Mall District 2
This district has five stories. Floor 1 contains bags, umbrellas and ponchos. The second floor sells hardware, tools, electronics, locks and car parts. The third floor holds kitchen equipment and small appliances. The fourth and fifth floors contain manufacturer outlet centers.
3) International Trade Mall District 3
With five functioning floors, District 3 sells everything from pens to make-up.
4) International Trade Mall District 4
Another five story shopping center but specializing in accessories. Vehicles can reach all the floors of the market because of the special elevated lanes, so drive right up to the floor of your choice!
5) International Trade Mall District 5
District 5's five floors stock everything from alcohol to hats to knitting needles.
6) Huangyuan Clothing Market
Huangyuan Clothing Market has eight whole floors of clothing.
When traveling to or living in Yiwu, the shopping area is worth checking out, despite its overwhelming size. Skip the over-priced tourist shopping area and pretend to be a wholesaler for the best deals!
Yiwu International Commodities Fair was first held in 1995. It is the third largest export-oriented commodities annual fair in China.
During the fair, there will be eight flights between Yiwu and Guangzhou City each day. Nineteen free shuttle buses will connect exhibition halls, markets and hotels every day.
Exhibitors are from seven industries including hardware, electronics, crafts, decorations, underwear and socks, stationery and sports goods. More than 1.7 million kinds of commodities will be on display.