Where Your ‘Made In China’ Trinkets Are Actually Made
One city in China makes many of the low-cost products sold everywhere on earth.
Photographs byRaffaele Petralla
Published September 7, 2017
• 3 min read
Made in China. The three ubiquitous words on inexpensive products all over the world. Toothpicks, tennis rackets, birthday candles, air fresheners. It all comes from China, but much of it—on the order of 60 percent of the worlds cheap consumable goods—comes from just one city: Yiwu.
Yiwu is a small town by Chinese standards (pop. 1.2 million). But it’s globally significant to anyone who has ever bought socks, zippers, or a cheap last-minute Halloween costume.
The city attracts business visitors from all over the world. Buyers come year-round to survey goods and make bulk orders that end up in hardware stores, souvenir shops, and big-box retailers on every continent. According to one estimate by a local trade group, more than 60 percent
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