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Go to Yiwu: small commodities, big market

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chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Nov 27, 2023

In an eye-opening exploration on Nov 18, 30 international students studying at the Zhejiang University of Science and Technology embarked on a journey to Yiwu city, famously known as the world’s "capital of small commodities".

This field trip was a deep dive into the bustling world of global small commodities trading. The students, representing the future of international commerce, sought to uncover the secrets behind Yiwu's remarkable growth and its pivotal role in the international market.

International students from 11 countries around the world carry the field trip. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Their exploration began in Beixiazhu Village, a hub of e-commerce and live streaming innovation. Chen Zhengming, a mentor guiding aspiring entrepreneurs, encapsulated the village's spirit: "Armed with a dream and a smartphone, anyone can venture here to start a business."

The students delved into why Beixiazhu Village, initially a small community of just over 1,000 residents, now magnetizes over 20,000 entrepreneurs. This transformation wasn't an overnight phenomenon; it's a testament to the village's embracing of digital age reforms and opportunities.

Hamza Fatih from Morocco observed, "Beixiazhu Village leverages its proximity to the international trade city, adopting a hybrid 'offline + online' national supply and sales model. This strategy has driven rapid economic growth and collective prosperity in the village, a truly extraordinary feat!"

Ukrainian student Maria Suhak (right) communicates with the shop owner. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

While meandering through Yiwu International Trade Market, Ukrainian student Maria Suhak couldn't hide her surprise at the diversity of the products, "I've used this German hand cream; it's excellent! To find it at such a reasonable price in Yiwu is astonishing!" This affordability stems from Yiwu's sustained influx of imported goods since the inception of the China-Europe freight train, enhancing its small commodities' global reach and fame, especially in Central Asia and Europe.

The students also gained insight into the mechanics of online startups in Yiwu, covering aspects like operations, design, and customer service. Bin Madhi Abdulrahman Khamis Saeed from Yemen shared his revelation, "I always knew of Yiwu as a 'global buying and selling hub'. Witnessing it firsthand surpasses all hearsay. Here, one can tangibly experience the zest of Zhejiang's economic prowess."