Greg Bales

The truth here is actually the real secret of China’s manufacturing success—keeping labour costs so low that making things by hand is cheaper than using machines….

It felt like we’d been given just a small glimpse at China’s vast manufacturing infrastructure. More importantly it felt like we were starting to understand why it existed: so that young workers in a far country can make the rest of the world our disposable, impulse-buy goods.

After visiting the International Trade Market in Yiwu, China, a wholesale market millions of square feet in area, full of the cheap plastic goods that stock our shelves, Maugham goes one step further behind the curtain of our consumer fantasies: to a nearby factory that makes Christmas.

Yiwu: The Chinese city where Christmas is made and sold” by Tim Maughan for The BBC


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