Specialized Markets in China
Source: The author. Figure I.1 International Trade City: the fifth-generation market in Yiwu As a huge transitional economy, China has her unique development experiences. The Specialized Market that is the subject of this book is a typical example of this uniqueness. Specialized markets (Zhuanye Shichang) are generally marketplaces located in industrial clusters, specializing in the wholesale supply of local commodities and their related goods. Their sellers and buyers are the countless number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In developed countries, such marketplaces appeared on the eve of the industrial revolution and gradually disappeared. In developing countries, most marketplaces have tended to be part of a large informal sector. In contemporary China, however, specialized markets have 1 M2920 – DING 9781781006276 PRINT.indd 1 20/06/2012 13:15 2 Market platforms, industrial clusters and small business dynamics appeared in many of the modern industrial sectors, such as daily necessities, apparel, metalworking, molds, eyewear and cell phones, and were paradoxically upgraded and expanded along with the development of the industrial clusters (Ding 2010; Ding and Pan 2011). The specialized markets on the one hand linked with the industrial clusters, and on the other hand, have extended their tentacles to distant markets. Various smaller markets with names such as Commodity City, Apparel City, Cell Phone City, and Auto Parts City are grouped together in the cities and towns in China. Most of these markets have tight links with specialized markets. Some were even established by the manager of a specialized market itself. It is now...