|Yiwu’s Toy Industry Goes Globally Popular|
Russian merchants buy anime figures in the International Trade City.
Yemeni merchants buy children’s toys.
Russian merchants buy electronic gyroscopes.
International visitors purchase luminous toys.
A variety of toy stalls are in the International Trade City.
Brazilian merchants choose Halloween-themed supplies.
With the robust recovery of markets and industries across China, the toy industry of the Yiwu International Trade City has ushered in a prosperous phase. Yiwu’s toy industry continues to maintain a steady growth trend in the first quarter of 2023 with a transaction value of 3.89 billion RMB, an increase of 23.1% year-on-year. At the same time, the average daily visitors to the Yiwu International Trade City reached 200,000, and the average daily presence of international businesspeople reached 1,600.
The toy industry in the Yiwu market started in the mid-1980s and is primarily located in the first district of the International Trade City. Its products are exported to more than 200 countries and regions around the world, registering about 25% of the global sales of toys.
Lu Qingrong runs his store in the first district of the International Business City, an area that has over 1900 toy-related businesses. “In Yiwu there are toys of all kinds, even those you can’t think of,” said a Brazilian businessperson, while visiting a toy store. “I haven’t been in Yiwu for three years, but I see that the toy industry has been renewing continuously. I had to come now not to miss business opportunities anymore. I will place an order of 50,000 RMB and then try to see what sells best in Brazil,” Weidisi said while showing us a long list of various kinds of toys.
With the opening of the country to foreign buyers, Yiwu has launched global buyer invitational events and released ten measures for foreign-related services. At present, Yiwu has more than 13,000 permanent foreign businesspeople. Many are international buyers returning to the city, which lets the local distributors look at the future with confidence.
Jiang Yunjiao also runs a toy store in a very central location of the International Trade City. In talking to us, she explained that both domestic and international buyers enter the store from time to time to inquire about the price, and people buy a considerable amount all the time. Jiang Yunjiao said: “As long as people come by, we have business. And the number of foreign businesspeople coming to us has been increasing.”
Regarding this year’s foreign trade business, Jiang Yunjiao is quite optimistic. A Portuguese customer had just purchased 60 boxes of toys from her store. Each box had 120 pieces of model vehicles that have already been sent out. At the same time, the proportion of customers from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia have been rising. Mrs. Jiang told us about a Mongolian customer who returned to her after having placed four orders in the last few years. “Orders from European and North American countries are a bit less, but those from the emerging markets are increasing. We welcome customers from Asian, African, and Latin American countries.”
Song Hongjun is a supplier of toys in the International Trade City who has just returned to Yiwu from the Canton Fair. Song received an order from a Chilean customer who primarily purchases remote-controlled cars. “90% of our orders are for foreign trade, but the domestic market is booming, and the share of domestic sales has also caught up. The overall order in the first quarter has increased by at least 30%, especially in March,” explained Mr. Song.
A Serbian merchant named Haris runs a shop in a wholesale market in Belgrade, and his stall is full of gadgets from Yiwu. He told us that although the global economic situation is not optimistic, Yiwu’s small commodities helped him earn some money. “Yiwu’s products are of good quality and excellent prices, and they are loved by Serbian consumers. We can also submit our requests to the dealers according to the demand. Anything can be done in Yiwu,” said Haris.
“The presence of international businesspeople is now increasing, they look at the goods, compare them and pick different suppliers. It all needs time,” explained Wang Xuxue, spokesperson of a toy company. She said that many customers come to ask about pricing and to try out the products, but customers placing orders are still low. After three years of absence, many come here and need to learn about the new place and its changes.
Wang claimed that it’s a buyers’ market: sellers need to compete for innovation. Only those who provide good products and service can win the trust of the customers. To better serve foreign purchasing agents, Mrs. Wang has developed dozens of lines of new products and worked on transforming his factory. With major investment in its productivity, her company strives to achieve a sales volume of 40 million RMB this year. (Text by Wu Fengyu, photos by Lü Bin—Yiwu Business Daily, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Daniel Haws)