China is called the “factory of the world”, but what this factory produces needs to be sold in one place, and Yiwu is that place.
At present, the manufacturing city in central Zhejiang Province supplies the world’s daily necessities at unimaginably low costs, such as toothbrushes, sunglasses, buttons, socks, hairpins, toys, wigs and low-end clothing. The China Commodity City (CCC Group) in Yiwu was called “largest small commodity wholesale market in the world” in 2005.
Although for some middle-class and above consumers, “made in China” or “sold by Yiwu” represents “poor quality” to some extent. But in fact, only Yiwu has the ability to keep the prices of these goods down to a level that everyone on earth can afford.
Long before Yiwu occupied the world, consumer goods from Yiwu had already occupied China. The Yiwu Commodity Market was established in 1982, when China had not even run the market economy. Unlike Shenzhen, Yiwu is more focused on selling small consumer goods that have nothing to do with electronics.
Overseas, most of the goods consumers buy on Amazon and AliExpress come from Yiwu. They often cost as little as $1 and offer free shipping service. We explained in an article how this is done: basically, Yiwu goods that sell for 1 USD overseas actually sell for 1 CNY in Yiwu, which makes free delivery possible.
Now Yiwu has launched its own cross-border e-commerce site Chinagoods. Any overseas agent can cooperate directly with local merchants in Yiwu through this platform to get the lowest price.
The site went into trial operation in April 2020 and has accumulated more than 50,000 local merchants since then. On October 21, the Chinagoods officially opened to the public, and it has a PC website, a Wap version, and a mobile App. At the same time, because it focuses on export wholesale, it provides a complete English version.
According to reports, the website is run by “Zhejiang China Commodities City Group” (CCC Group), a state-owend listed company owned by the local government of Yiwu. The company also hired Wei Zhe, former CEO of Alibaba Group, as a strategic consultant.
CCC Group said that the main reason for launching the Chinagoods was that many overseas buyers were unable to come to Yiwu to purchase goods locally due to the epidemic, and there was an urgent need for a local e-commerce platform to solve the problem. From January to June this year, online retail sales in Yiwu reached 74.24 billion yuan (about $11.127 billion), an increase of 8.2% over the same period last year, according to the Zhejiang Electronic Commerce Promotion Center.
In theory, due to the participation of Chinese state-owned companies, the platform may be more stringent than Alibaba in checking the quality of goods and merchant credit. However, as the platform has just been launched, everything has yet to be verified.