A popular vlogger (video blogger) named Scotty Allen once filmed himself purchasing different components in Shenzhen and assembling them all to build his own iPhone, which quickly went viral.
This experience not only shocked himself but also made the netizens think very highly of China's electronics industry.
After that, Scotty continued to post videos to depict a variety of his experiences in China, including a visit to China’s unmanned supermarket, as well as reporting different kinds of technical problems via his posts - Scotty knows his stuff when it comes to tech！
A few months ago, in order to satisfy the curiosity of netizens about China, Scotty went to Yiwu - the most developed city that powers the entire wholesale industry in China.
Although Shenzhen is the leading wholesale manufacturer of mobile phone parts in China, Yiwu is undoubtedly the richest commodity trade market in China.
Yiwu is home to the world's largest wholesale market known as the Yiwu International Trade Market.
It covers an area of 5.5 million square meters and has a total length of 7 kilometers. It has about 75,000 booths so far.
By the end of last year, about 18 million commodities had been exported to219 countries in the world. The seasonal amount of imports and exports is worth RMB 48.88 billion.
Scotty with his friend Collin Abroadcast filming themselves exploring the Yiwu Market in search of good bargains. They both live in China.
It’s a very big shopping mall, which makes it particularly hard for Scotty and Collin to find their way around. So they decided to follow a map of the whole place that they could find inside: "Wow, this map is amazing,” Scotty said. “The numerous and dense commercial varieties were well organized.”
After a careful study of the map, Scotty chose to start with the toy, handicraft hardware tools areas. Collin also thought that negotiating in the wedding area would be “cool” to show their followers.
"Let's go!” Collin said happily.
On their way to the hardware tool area, they passed by a wholesale electric car shop which easily distracted them from their original plan and intrigued them to go check it out. “They have every possible electric vehicle you can dream of here,” Scotty reported. “Anything that’s got a battery and a motor in it, it’s here.”
This shop aligns with the Chinese line of thoughts: there are so many things you can’t imagine, but nothing that you can’t do.
Scotty was particularly intrigued by a very strange-looking bike called the “hovering bike”. He asked one of the shop’s staff for the price, to which she responded RMB 720: “That’s about 100 bucks” he thought.
Looking at this cool invention, that price isn’t too bad for something that Scotty finds “really cool.”
After a while, Scotty convinced Collin to stick to their original plan and leave this shop: “This is one shop out of 75,000.” Scotty said to his camera jokingly. “We’re having fun here, BUT I think we gotta keep moving.”
Shortly after, they finally arrived at their first destination, “hardware land” as Scotty calls it.
This whole market is filled with extremely specialized shops that only sell one thing - like a small stand that specializes in scissors which they pass by in awe. “There’s a speciality shop for everything here.”
Digital multimeters and soldering iron
They were stunned by the speciality of all the shops present in the Yiwu Market - stop stunned, in fact, that Scotty and Collin counted the amount of “like”s they both said in one sentence: “It’s like, I think one of the things that hits home for me is like how specialized everything is, like we saw a shop that sells nothing but like, blades…” They counted a total of 13 “like”s.
It seems like they were really shocked by the sales model...
They eventually found a projective lamp that change shapes and had to stop to look at it again.
It changed from a windmill to a strawberry and then to Bay Max, and all kinds of stereoscopic graphics changed beautifully.
While on their to way across another district, Scotty met a trader from Dubai who specializes only in door handles: “What?! So you’re a door handle trader. That is SO specialized!”
Scotty learned that the businessman has stores in five countries in the Middle East, and that all the stores were only selling door handles. Because of how specific their request is, traders have to come to the Yiwu Market: “We come here for only one door handle,” the businessman said.
Yiwu really does deserve the name of the world's largest wholesale market.
After walking for a long while, they finally arrived at the toy area which is located underground.
As you would expect, there’s a large variety of toys here, some of you can find during the Halloween season.
Then they went to their third destination - the handicraft district.
This block mainly sell Christmas products, which is why Scotty felt like it was Christmas when they went: “It’s a total sensory overload,” he said. “Santa Claus everywhere; Christmas trees as far as I can see, and tinsel on every corner.”
There are many shops specializing in selling plastic Christmas trees.
And Christmas small boutiques.
And Christmas gifts and dolls.
After seeing so many Christmas products and gift shops, Collin said:
"I feel that when I was a child, the Christmas tree and the gifts my parents gave me came from here.” Well, when more than 60% of all Christmas decorations sold around the world are exported from Yiwu Market, there’s a high possibility to it might be true.
Walking to another part of the handicraft area, Collin found a gift that he had bought for his mother in another country.
It was a small Eiffel Tower which he had bought from a fake market for RMB 80. When he learned from the shop assistant that it only sells for RMB 7 at the Yiwu Market, his face awkwardly turned silent after which he said with a smirk: “I feel ripped off,” as Scotty began to laugh hysterically.
They also found a shop that specializes in wholesale monks and other necessities.
The three target areas selected by Scotty are located in the No. 1 commercial district, but the wedding area selected by Collin is in the No. 4 business district.
It was several kilometers away from where they were, so they chose to take the fastest and most convenient method of transportation -a motorcycle, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ the saying goes, which means you should try a Chinese-style motorcycle ride which turned out to be a pretty nice experience.
Their Yiwu tour had expanded their horizons and gave both Scotty and Collin, two very successful vloggers, a brand new perspective on the world and how products are sold. They knew about the Yiwu Market but never thought about how all the products they had either seen, bought or interacted with in the past mostly came from Yiwu.
We believe that Scotty video will help foreigners know more about how Chinese products have spread all over the whole world.
But there’s more to China than selling such types of products, of course. A lot more!
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDd10-poMm8