Home World Inside the world’s biggest market spanning four miles with 200,000 visitors every...

Inside the world’s biggest market spanning four miles with 200,000 visitors every day


Spanning 5.5 million square metres and selling 2.1 million individual products across 26 major categories, China is home to the world’s largest wholesale market.

Yiwu Market, also known as Fuitan or China’s “trinket town”, is found in the Zhejiang Province in China and covers five districts of many floors. The largest, District 4, covers 1.08 million square metres. 

It is so large that it takes several days to explore it completely.

On average the market welcomes 200,000 visitors, which includes the some 300,000 foreigners that travel to the site each year.

According to Tripadvisor, it offers “almost anything you can want or imagine.” 

Another said: “You just need a lot of strength to walk around to find what you are looking for.”

It is open 365 days a year, closing only for the Chinese New Year. It established its fame for cheap prices, reasonable quality and ease of buying. In total, more than 80,000 vendors sell millions of products.

Each district specialises in certain products. For example, District 1 houses over 10,000 suppliers of toys, stationary and household goods. District 2 sells fashion and consumer electronics and District 5 covers imported goods such as cosmetics and textiles in some 7,000 booths.

From this market come almost all the products that will go to Chinese bazaars around the world.

The market has also expanded its reach into remote access for importers worldwide. According to Yiwu customs authorities, in January and February of this year, Yiwu’s sports exports increased 70.5 percent year on year and exports to France grew 42 percent year on year to reach £59 million, ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer. 

Zhejiang province is known for its vibrant private economy, boasting 9.67 million private enterprises, which make up a staggering 96.7 percent of the province’s total market entities as of 2023.

Data suggests that between January and November 2023, the total import and export value of Yiwu City soared to RMB 522.1 billion (£57 million), a year-on-year increase of 18.1 percent.

In December 2022, the local government implemented policies including free accomodation and warehousing discounts to foreign entrepreneurs as part of their plan to revitalise the foreign trade sector after the pandemic.

Since the majority of business is conducted in Mandarin, there are many language and cultural barriers. However, to ease the buying process translation services, assistance for produce procurement, quality control and inspection services have been implemented. 

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