We started the day with a visit of zones 1 and 5 of the wholeseller market in Yiwu city.
This wholeseller market is a freetrade zone, which offers space for sales offices for companies from all over the world. It is possible for a normal person to buy just some products, but there are also big chains like Globus which can buy a bunch of products, for example the whole decoration for its stores. The most expensive stores to rent are located in the jewellery sector, where a 9 squaremeter sales office requires more than 1 mio. yuan for redemption sum. In the whole zone are between 60’000 to 70’000 stores, which are located in more than 60 buildings and offer around 1’700’000 different goods, which make this market the biggest in the world.
This market makes Yiwu city to a very special town, which has more than 2/3 foreigner in its around 2 Mio. habitants. It is also said, that Yiwu city has the biggest rate of expensive cars in China.
After a delicious lunch-buffet in the 4-star Yindu hotel in Yiwu city, we took the coach for a visit of Julong suitcase manufacturer. The factory is located on a 10’000 squaremeter property. The company visit started in a kind of museum, where they presented some very old objects, like a ancient suitcase which was older than 400 years or an old refrigerateur. They also showed us a wide variety of products like armeesuitcases, roulettetables, suitcases for wine and whisky etc. Their clients are for example Walmart, Lidl, Aldi, Target, Coca Cola and more. When we saw the production side, a lot of the work was done by hand, with a lot of manpower.
In the end of the tour, we had the chance to buy some products with a discount, which was a chance for some students to buy new suitcases and bags.
Later on we had to catch the train at 16.40 and therefore the timetable was to short to visit the Mengna sock production. So we went to the trainstation in Yiwu to catch the nighttrain to Shenzhen. The fact that the trainstation was very crowded and hot and also that we booked hardsleepers, made some students worry, about the coming traintrip.
The trainwagons had been small and there where no doors which seperated the beds from the aisle of the train. But after some hours, the students made friends with the Chinese passengers, some of them played card together or just chatted about the different cultures. The atmosphere in the train was very friendly and relaxed and there was kind of a partymood. But the biggest moment came later in the evening: On 10.07. was Prof. Rüttimanns birthday! Because they turned off the light at around 10pm, we had to toast with Mr. Rüttimann two hours before his official birthday (at least in Chinese time). So all students toasted on our professors birthday and sung “happy birthday” with the help of some locals even in Chinese. So ended one of the busiest, but also one of the most intercultural days in the nighttrain with a birthday party, somewhere on the railroads between Yiwu City and Shenzhen.