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China Businesses Christmas Cheer Technology

Inside China's 'Christmas Factory' Town, Yiwu 32

jones_supa writes China's manufacturing industry continues booming, which has led to the the town of Yiwu (a city of about 1.2m people in central Zhejiang province) being christened "China's Christmas village." The town has become the home of 600 factories that collectively churn out over 60% of all the world's Christmas decorations and accessories. The "elves" that staff these factories are mainly migrant labourers, working 12 hours a day for a maximum of £200 to £300 a month – and it turns out that all of them are not even entirely sure what Christmas is. Nevertheless, there are corridors lined with nothing but tinsel, streets throbbing with competing LED light shows, stockings of every size, plastic Christmas trees in blue and yellow and fluorescent pink, plastic pine cones in gold and silver. The complex of Yiwu International Trade Market was declared by the United Nations to be the "largest small commodity wholesale market in the world" and the scale of the operation necessitates a kind of urban plan, with this festival of commerce organised into five different districts, of which District Two is solely dedicated for Christmas stuff.
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Inside China's 'Christmas Factory' Town, Yiwu

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  • That's good money (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    At 200 to 300 pounds month that is good money. Realize one must adjust for local economies. That isn't London. Living expenses are far lower in Christmas Town.

  • Mandatory reading (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Before any uninformed comments start blossoming... mandatory reading about the chinese migrants workers: 'Factory Girls' by Leslie T. Chang. []

    She also gave a great TED speech, The voice of Chinese Factory Workers' [], which is a nice introduction to her book.

    These jobs represent an exit for most of these workers, the opportunity to build their life as they wish - or try. Like anywhere.

    • These jobs represent an exit for most of these workers, the opportunity to build their life as they wish - or try.

      Yeah. She's one of the lucky ones, she got out. Most don't. You'll never hear from them though.

      Before any uninformed comments start blossoming

      The crappy living conditions, the crappy hours, the lack of industrial safety, the crappy pay... all these things are well documented. Commenting on them is far from uninformed.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday December 25, 2014 @11:56AM (#48672419) Homepage

    From thousands of years in the future (assuming we get that far). Walking through post apocalyptic sand dunes and finding some ancient city on the (new) coast line. Excitedly digging into years and years of old civilization.

    To discover this?

    They'd be scarred for life.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know, there's plenty of archeologists interested in Monte Testaccio. It's simply a large mountain of broken clay pots, mostly alike.

  • And all this time I thought it was Frankenmuth.

You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine