Plastic and Profit in China Documentary

The Futian Market in Yiwu in China is where wholesale buyers come from around the world to snap up cheap Chinese goods. Covering 4 million square meters, 120,000 suppliers hawk everything from toys to fluffy handcuffs and dancing Santas. Business here moves at breakneck speed and the air is full of tales of quick bucks, kidnappings – and now a slumping market. The number of one-dollar stores in the US has doubled since 2008. The story is the same elsewhere. This growth in cheap stores kick-started Yiwu’s expansion. In May 2014 alone, Yiwu exported 157 Million dollars-worth of small goods. Businessmen come here from all over the world to make their deals. Thirty years ago, Yiwu was a poor and dilapidated backwater, but since Deng Xiaoping opened up China’s economy, the city has been thriving. Traders who don’t even know what Christmas is have been making a killing from seasonal decorations and plastic Santas. But Yiwu’s boom seems to be coming to an end. Prices are soaring, quality is falling and thousands of migrant workers crowd the streets every day desperately looking for work. A symbol of global capitalism, concentrated in one city.

 

 

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