“In the past, numerous people had stereotype of people from Yiwu that they knew nothing but earning money by selling ‘low-level’goods. However, it is totally wrong.” On April 24, after the inspection of Yiwu, Zhejiang, Zhuangshuai, anInternet celebrityand the founder of Brilliance Consulting, states it is the time that the public’s impression of Yiwu should be changed.
Yiwu, “world’s commodity capital”, plays indispensable role in Chinese initiative of “the Belt and Road”(the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road).According to Li Yan, the Internet celebrity and originator of generalized-Internetscience-and-technology commercial we-media called “Tian-Fang-Ye-Tan”(meaning Li Yan’s imaginative talk), it is not only the made-in-Yiwu merchandises, representing “madein China”, which are exported to the whole world, but alsopeace and tolerance, mutual understanding, and co-winning goal which are lying in Chinese culture.
Past Yiwu: Chronicle of “Feather for Sugar”
What has contributed to making Yiwu be as prosperous and bustling as it is at present? The answer is the trade culture of “feather for sugar”(obtain sugar by giving chicken feather) deeply rooted in its essence. The history of “feather for sugar”, whose formation as well as development was based on the local brown sugar industry, could be traced back to the period of Late Ming Dynastyand Early Qing Dynasty.
It is said that in the early days, sugar-exchangers would only carry brown sugar produced locally and so-made candy with them; after selling processed products made of chicken feather they had exchanged, they collected the rest to make it fertilizer. Over time, goods like needlework, hairpins, handkerchieves and scarfs could also be seen in their loads.
Yiwu Small Commodity Market was originated in the late 1960s. After about ten years, some sugar-exchangers majoring in doing long-distance transportation of goods and small commodities gradually came into form. Part of them began to process some small commodities by their own to sell to the outgoing sugar-exchangers and other consumers as well. Thanks to that, an auto-formed market of small commodities has taken shape inconspicuously.
In September, 1982, Yiwu County Government officially aggred to open Hu-Qing-Men Small Commodity Market. Relevant data shows that it was an open-air market with 700 stalls, costing 9,000 yuan. Nowadays, it has already changed into Yiwu Chinese Small Commodity Marketcovering more than 5,50,000 kilometer.
As we have known, there are75,000 stalls and 210,000 workers for operating 1.8 million merchandises,belonging to 26 different categories, in YiwuChineseSmallCommodityMarket, with 21,000 customers coming to per day.
Since the March of 2011, with the approval of the State Council, Yiwu has become the onlycomprehensive reform experimental unit at the national level being in process at a county-level city.
Present Yiwu: “new climate” of transformation and upgrading
This year is the fifteenth year of Yu Jufang settled in zone 1 of Yiwu China Small Commodity Market International Trade City. In 2002, Yu Jufang began to do some glass business in the local, and now she is mainly engaged in glass products such as high-end custom business.
Yu Jufang said that in contrast to these years of change, people are more rational than ever, more concerned about the practical value of goods, in addition, especially in recent years, the product sales channels have undergone tremendous changes.”In the past online sales accounted for just only 30% of my total sales, but now it turns out.”
Yu Jufang’s experience is not a single case of change. April 23rd, when the reporter interviewed in 1 District, Yiwu International Trade City , although the main venue is still lively, but still can not see the bustling crowd.
Li Yan is not surprised this situation, “on the one hand, Taobao and Tmall impact on offline retail and consumer habits, while on the other hand, it is the upgrading of consumer concept.
In this regard, Yiwu is not helpless, the local has been followed by the trend of the times. In 2007, the first Taobao shop “next door affordable shop”opened in Yiwu, Liu Jiang dong Street, Qing yan Liu village, Yiwu has entered a new era.
Reporters learned from the Yiwu municipal e-commerce work leading group office, in recent years, Yiwu e-commerce trade volume grow as annual growth rate more than 30%, from 25 billion yuan in 2010 rose to 177 billion in 2016.
On 2014, when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang went to do a research in Qing yan Liu village, said it is worthy of being called No.1 E Commerce Village, and put forward a slogan as “mass entrepreneurship and innovation.” From then on, Qing yan Liu village had the title “China’s No.1 E Commerce Village”. As of 2016, the total number of shop Qing yan Liu village has reached more than 3 thousand and 500, with annual sales of nearly 5 billion yuan, the average daily volume of 100 thousand forms.
Mao Shengping, the party branch secretary in Qing yan Liu village said in an interview, the trick is in local is to “focus on the service”. In August 2015, Qing yan Liu village incubation center put into use, provides 50 free stations, free computer, free training, free supply docking, small business loans and preferential interest free courier service, at the same time, also provide one-stop rental, registration, accreditation and other services for the successful business incubator .
In addition, Qing yan Liu village not only has set up a Yiwu Business School entrepreneurship incubator laboratory, network model, in order to improve the local environment, the local village autonomy also founded the Qing yan Liu village network operators business services limited company, responsible for local electricity supplier operations management services.
Zhuang Shuai believes that if you want to develop the electricity supplier, first of all you need to form an industrial chain, so the relevant service facilities are indispensable, but from the development of Yiwu, it is still very good.
Yang Jianguo, the internet celebrity and China industrial agglomeration expert, believes that Yiwu traditional “feather for sugar” development spirit let Yiwu realized the difficult migration from poverty to affluence and into the development of the electricity supplier in the process, Yiwu put forward “restart from feather for sugar”, bring Yiwu’s experience to new industries and new economies successfully.
Li Yan said that in addition to the development of the industrial chain and enhance the quality of service, Yiwu commodity has also bid farewell to the low-end goods, the quality of many products have been close to international standards. According to the relevant departments, many local enterprises have built a small commodity research and development center, seeking transformation and upgrading.
Future Yiwu:”Made in China” influences the world
To Zhuang Shuai,the future of Yiwu depends on the development of Cross-border E-commerce.”TheCross-borderE-commerce is the original strength of Yiwu,now Yiwu commodity is recognized by more and more countries.”ZhuangShuai said,the level of development of countries are diverse and a lot of countries really rely on Yiwu commodity.The export of Chinese goods will promote the balanced development of all regions.
On morning of 18th November 2014,the first Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe train(the YXE Railway) set off from Yiwu. The train has 41 sections which carry out the export of 82 standard contains. 他he total length of the railway is more than 13 thousand kilometers. It is the train which has the longest stroke,pass the most cities and countries and has the maximum times changing its track. The YXE train has contacted Yiwu and Madrid more than 160 times until now.
The Operator of “the YXE Railway” and The Chairman of Timex Industrial Investment Co.Ltd,Zhang Xubin said when interviewed by journalist,”the YXE Railway” set off twice a week and the sections of the train are not less than 41. Now the train from Yiwu to destination Madrid only takes 17 or 18 days and its freight is 1/5 lower than air transport.
Zhuang Shuai thinks,“the YXE Railway” is the embodiment of Chinese national soft power in “The Belt and the Road”. “Firstly, we mainly exported tea,silk and porcelain to foreign countries through The Silk Road before,the modern Silk Road exports more refined and various commodities to foreigners. These commodities are urgently needed in many countries,they are also suitable for wholesale; Secondly,it is a test of China’s freight capacity to transport the goods from side of The Pacific Ocean to the other side of The Atlantic.” He said, it will force Chinese enterprises to get close to standardization and industrialization through “The Belt and the Road”.
Li Yan thinks,the core of “The Belt and the Road” is the communication of economy and culture, the premise is based on communication and comprehension between different cultures. Li Yan said,the culture Chinese exported is a culture of fair trade,not strong output of ideology,not ordering other countries who are at the Silk Road Economic Zone to do what they dislike,but to meet the cultural and commercial needs of them. Finally,we will leave “The Chinese Imprint” in the global economy,peace,stability and development.
This is Ammar Ashour’s 8th year in China. In 2010 he opened a commercial company in Zhejiang, Yiwu,now many of his customers are from Egypt,Saudi Arabia,the United States and other countries.
Ashour told the journalist,the Chinese“The Belt and the Road”is so wonderful that foreigners can get a lot of convenience when do business in China. At the same time,he also found the internet in China is so convenient that he can buy almost everything. He said his dream is realized in China.
Yiwu is the world’s “commodity capital”,nearly 500 thousand foreign businessmen come to Yiwu for purchasing every year,and more than 1.3 overseas customers from more than 1 thousand countries and regions settle in Yiwu.
The other side of Yiwu: quality living outside noisy cities
Yiwu’ s past, present and future outline urban scenario. There are business opportunities everywhere in the city. The city is always full of vigor really implementing premier Li Keqiang’ s slogan “mass entrepreneurship and innovation ”.
During two days’ site visit in Zhejiang Yiwu, journalist followed web celebrities supporting “The Belt and the Road” investigation group. I realize the other side of yiwu’ s portrait. It is casual and adores rural lifestyle.
On April 24, when I walked in “new countryside road” of Yiwu Hesilu village I was amazed rows of ordely and brand new monasteries by the road. I got to know “sister Yanzi” who is a local designer of Yiwu. She came to Hesilu village to travel by chance 3 years ago and was attracted by the views. So in 2016 she came here with some friends and ranted three-story house starting to run pension.
She told the journalist she enjoy her life here. It is a lucky thing to have charms of rural life in such a big busy city.
It is said, Hesilu village is called “Provence” of Yiwu. Since 2008 this vallige developed eco-tourism under the leadership of the party secretary He Yunhui. Not only clean water and green hills, old houses and mud huts, ancient camphor trees and streams were kept intact, but also many villagers who entered city to live well in the past have returned to the village and try to follow the village fro, position to position.
Now villagers are back and some visitors like “Sister Yanzi” also take root in here including over 10 foriegers.
He Yunhui told the journalist, not just selling goods and doing e-business are starting a business. “all for a happy and peaceful life, we can make it come true at home”.
He Yunhui introduced in 2016 the average revenue of the villagers is 36,060 yuan, but in 2008 which was just 4,587 yuan.
Just as Hesilu village to be rich is not just a story of beautiful village, the other side of Yiwu is a undivided part of the city.
Life of cities is all about endless diversity, the blend of every type of business, every primary use, every culture, every lifestyle. A city can’t do these without rich heritage.
Yiwu located in central Zhejiang province belongs to Zhejiang Jinhua. YingZheng year 25 of Qin (222B.C), Yiwu became a county of Guiji County called “Wushang”. Wude year 7 of Tang Dynasty (621A.D), it was named Yiwu, still in use today. In 1988 Yiwu County was revoked and Yiwu city was set up.