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About This Project

The market that never sleeps Yiwu

2,500,000 m2
1,500,000 products
70,000 shops
1500 containers a day

Yiwu is home to the largest wholesale market in China. Over 70,000 companies display their wares in tiny booths overloaded with inexpensive goods bought and sold by the container-full. Divided into product-line districts, the market is an impressive city within a city. We arrive around lunchtime and families are gathering in the aisles at improvised tables, as if we were at a giant family gathering rather than a frenzied market space… Walking around the center after lunch, we discover that napping at work is not at all frowned upon. A nap in Chinese is xiu xiu and, since Mao’s days, xiu xiu is a constitutional right in China. In contemporary China, signs of fatigue are synonymous with zeal and efficiency such that napping at work is recommended by the government in order to regain one’s strength and resume work efficiently. Consequently, those who do not practice xiu xiu are considered lazy because they have not worked to exhaustion.