Yiwu Market History

Yiwu is a hilly region originally inhabited by farmers. Poverty-ridden land left peasants with no option but trade for a living. As early as the 1600s, trading flowered in Yiwu.

It was in the 1600s that Yiwu peasants started trading in chicken feathers, as they were used as a natural crop fertilizer. Using these feathers, they also made some other household articles that were attractive on the market and even started exportation: during periods in which farming did not require substantial work, they travelled across villages, selling sewing needles, threads, sugar chunks and other small articles. These men were also named the equivalent of "Sugar Shoulder-pole Men" in some rural areas. Soon, they grew in number and many wholesale markets came into existence to cater them. It was only until 1949 that Planned Economy was set up there.[3]

Planned Economy vs. Sugar-for-Chicken Feathers[3]

Earlier, the trade system was considered as capitalistic by the government of the People's Republic of China and hence officially suppressed. However, in practice there was not much change in the mountainous Yiwu. People had no option but to rely on business to survive and the commerce was carried on secretly. If a trader were caught, his belongings were confiscated by the authorities.

When Xie Gaohua, a former Yiwu mayor, carried out an investigation in the city, he found that the secret wholesalers had in fact better living conditions than peasants. He consequently decided to promote the legalisation of small trade in Yiwu, in favour of higher living standards of its inhabitants. Eventually, as the economic reform started in China, the three free markets came into existence.

The First Free-Marketplace in China's History[3]

In 1982, the local government put cement boards over a stinky ditch near Huqingmen Street and set up around 700 stalls. It was from that first early complex that Yiwu market was born. Over the course of time, Yiwu wholesale market has undergone several changes. Now Yiwu International Trade Center has a capacity of over 70,000 stalls, for profits amounting to billions USD. It is considered the world’s most popular wholesale market for some products.

Yiwu International Trade Mart[edit]

The International Trade Mart (Futian market) is the main one and the biggest. It currently covers an area of 4 million square meters, with 62,000 booths inside. 100,000 suppliers exhibit 400,000 kinds of products almost every day from 9 am to 5 pm (except during the holidays of Chinese Spring Festival). The products come from around 40 industries and include 2,000 different categories of goods. 65% of these products are exported to over 215 countries and regions. Futian market is more like a permanent fair, rather than a traditional wholesale market. It has developed into an information, innovation, exhibition and distribution center for consumer goods.

District 1[edit]

Initial construction of the first complex of the Yiwu Market began in 2001 and was opened on 22 October 2002. District 1 covers an area of 340,000 m2 (3,700,000 sq ft) hosting 9000 booths and over 10500 businesses. The complex cost ¥700 million to construct. It is divided into five main business areas: the Manufacturers Outlet Centre, the Shopping Centre, the food court, the warehousing centre and the "Subject of the Market" area. The 1st storey deals in artificial flower, toy, and flower accessories, the 2nd storey hair ornament, jewelry & ornament, ornament accessories, frame, ceramic & crystal, tourism craft, festival craft, decorative craft on the 3rd storey, Taiwan Mall(flower·ornaments·craft),factory outlets(toy·flower·ornaments/accessories)[4] on the 4th storey and a sourcing centre for foreign trade companies in the east subsidiary building. On average, 40,000 people visit the complex every day, 5000 of whom are foreign visitors. Commodities from District 1 are exported to over 200 countries and regions. District 1 is an appointed shopping & tourism spot by Zhejiang Tourist Bureau and is titled the first “Five-star Market” of Zhejiang province by Provincial Industrial & Commercial Bureau. In 2005, the market passed the assessment of national AAAA Tourist Attraction.[1][5]

District 2[edit]

District 2 (F & G) opened on 22 October 2004, providing over 600,000 m2 (6,500,000 sq ft) of floor space for over 8000 booths and 10,000 businesses. The first floor deals in rain wear & pack,suitcase & bag and umbrellas; the second floor specialises in electrical products,hardware tools & accessories,lock,vehicle; the third floor specialise in kitchen & sanitary hardware,small home appliances,telecommunications,electronic appliances & photographic equipment,battery & lamp & flash light(electronics),clock & watch;[6] the fourth floor is a manufacturers’ outlet centre and hosts the Hong Kong Hall, Korea Hall, Sichuan Hall, and other regional manufacturers halls; on the fifth floor, there is sourcing & service centre of foreign trade.There are supporting facilities, including industrial & commercial bureau, tax bureau, local police station, banks, restaurants, logistics, post office, telecom companies and other functional departments and service organizations, in the east subsidiary building. And the market has business building, office building, four-star hotel, east and west square as well as sightseeing bus around the market.[7]

District 2 (H) is 460,000 m2 (5,000,000 sq ft) and has over 6000 booths. It specialises in cultural products, sports products, cosmeticseyeglasseszippers, buttons and apparel accessories. It also has a manufacturers’ outlet centre.[1]

District 3/4[edit]

Work on the complex was constructed in two phases. The first phase finished in October 2008, while the second phase was completed on 21 October 2008. It covers an area of 560,000 m2 (6,000,000 sq ft) with 1,739,000 m2 (18,720,000 sq ft) of floor space within the complex. The building provides room for 14,000 booths. This district specialises in daily necessities, knitted & cotton articles (including underwear, scarves, gloves, hats and cotton fabrics), footwear, belts, neckties, towels, wool items, lace items and other textile industries. In addition to hosting many of the afore mentioned industries, the second phase also hosts the International Space Museum.[8]

District 5[edit]

On 5 May 2011, District 5 was completed at a cost of ¥1.42 billion. 5 storeys high with 2 underground storeys, it covers an area of 640,000 m2 (6,900,000 sq ft), providing space for over 7000 booths and shops. The district specialises in imported commodities (including an African imports emporium), bedding, textiles, knitting materials, auto products and assorted accessories. It is located to the south of Chengxin Road and north of Yinhai Road, next to the 4th District.[9]

Huangyuan Market[edit]

Yiwu's new Huangyuan market formally opened only recently. It is located in the most prosperous business area of embroidered lake. The south of this market is Jiangbin Road, the south is Middle Chouzhou Road and the west is Huangyuan Road. The market covers an area of 117 acres with the building area accounting for more than 420 thousand square meters. The total investment was of RMB 1.4 billion.

Moved from Binwang Road to the river bank, the operating style of Huangyuan market was upgraded outside and inside. Compared with the 2.8 square meters open booth, Huangyuan market set up 14.4 square meters closed glass booth. It takes unit regionalism and the channel is capacious and bright. This satisfied the shop owners requirements of manage exhibit, field negotiation, on-the-spot trade. Meanwhile, a broadband system has reached households and the popularization of the POS machine has created favorable conditions for shop owners' Internet business. In the future, this development is hoped to promote the rapid development of web market.

Huangyuan market is divided into 8 floors overground and 1 floor underground. There are more than 5000 booths. From first to fifth floor, jeans, men's clothing, women's clothing, sportswear, woolen sweaters, children's clothing and similar goods are sold. They are positioned as the professional clothing market. The eighth and the ninth floors are projected as local characteristic boutiques, which will adopt the predominant enterprises of clothing industry on national base.

The opening of Yiwu Huangyuan Market is aimed at enriching the selling patterns of the salers and help strengthening and enlargening the clothing industry. This with the purpose of attracting national and international clients and promoting the image of Yiwu.

Binwang market[edit]

Bedding Market, formerly Yiwu Binwang Market, is composed of five trading blocks, a Publications Center and the International Trade Center, with more than 8,000 booths and over 20000 business entities in total. The main products are clothing and bedding. It is the largest bedding market in Zhejiang Province. Originally the food market, this latter was then moved to the Agricultural city.


  1. Jump up to:a b c "International Trade City". yiwuchina.org. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  2. Jump up to:a b 吴波成. "Letter from the General Manager (总经理致辞)"Translated from Chinese. Zhejiang China Commodities City Group Co., LTD. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  3. Jump up to:a b c Yiwu, Forum. "Yiwu market history"Yiwu information and news. yiwuforum. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  4. Jump up^ http://www.yiwubuy.com
  5. Jump up^ http://english.yw.gov.cn/english_1/e_sw/e_sc/e_scjs/201104/t20110410_28123.html
  6. Jump up^ http://en.yiwugou.com/
  7. Jump up^ http://english.yw.gov.cn/english_1/e_sw/e_sc/e_scjs/201104/t20110410_28121.html
  8. Jump up^ "International Trade City (Ⅳ)". yiwuchina.org. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  9. Jump up^ "5th District of Yiwu International Trade Mart". yiwuchina.org. Retrieved 17 July 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Yiwu is a famous commodity city, Yiwu furniture market is developing more and more quickly, now it has three main furniture market including Yiwu furniture market, Tongdian furniture market, Zhanqian Road furniture market. So you can find the household furniture and office furniture in those markets, no matter Chinese style or western style.

yiwu furniture market locates in the centre of Yiwu West (West Road No. 1779). It is the only government-approved large-scale professional furniture market, covers an area of 80 acres, with a total construction area of 60,000 square meters.

Basement first floor of yiwu furniture market is for ordinary household furniture and office furniture; the first floor is for the sofa, soft, rattan, hardware and glass furniture and ancillary service areas; the second floor for modern plate, child bedroom furniture; the third floor for European, classical, mahogany, solid wood furniture; the fourth floor for wonderful boutique furniture business; the fifth floor for carpet fabric wallpaper for solar.

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