Almost everything is Made In China, with a whole gamut of ramifications. China is receiving all the economic wealth that used to flow to corporations with local manufacturing - every factory that relocates to China gives China more economic power. Shipping products from oversees adds to the environmental burden of those products, because of the dirty diesel fuel burned to transport products across the planet. It is difficult to wrap your head around the extent of the manufacturing in China, until you go there and see it for yourself. The next best thing is watching videos made by people who travel there in our place, to show us actual conditions.
In this video, Scotty from Strange Parts travels to Yiwu Industrial Trade City - the largest wholesale market in the world. It is a cluster of buildings covering 5.5 million square meters of exhibit space, sprawling for 7 kilometers.
This is a wholesale market meaning that the vendors are not selling products to retail buyers. The building is like a shopping mall. Well, a Chinese shopping mall - which is wholly unlike Western shopping malls, a Chinese shopping mall feels more like an office building but with hundreds of independently owned shopw.
In this case every shop in Yiwu Industrial Trade City is an exhibit space for a manufacturer to display their wares. The visitors come from around the world to find products to sell through their own stores. They make deals for ordering a given quantity of merchandise, shipped to a given port, that the distributor then sends to their own stores to put on sale to retail customers.
The picture shown above is just one small segment of Yiwu Industrial Trade City. In the video below, the guys went through a couple "Districts" but only touched the surface of this place.
This video raises the question - how do product distributors and retailers find the products they sell? The traditional method is going to trade shows, to talk with distributors or maybe manufacturers. There are websites like AliBaba.com and its sister website AliExpress.com that list zillions of products in an online catalog of dizzying breadth and scope. But, folks can also go to Yiwu Industrial Trade City to browse available products manufactured in China.
NOTE All pictures in this post are copied from a video by Scotty of the Strange Parts channel on YouTube. Therefore, every picture is his.
About the Author(s)
David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.