Chinese goods from the city of Yiwu in Zhejiang Province, one of the world’s largest commodity hubs, will not miss the quadrennial World Cup. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is about to start and a large number of soccer-related products such as footballs, flag strings, national flags, horns, trophies and medals originating from Yiwu have been sent to fans all over the world.
According to an estimation by the Yiwu Sporting Goods Association, the city’s manufacturing exports account for almost 70% of the market share of the World Cup related-goods. According to China Network Television, 60% of the products in Qatar’s official World Cup stores are made in China. As the sales volume has far exceeded expectations, the specialty store also added orders to authorized Chinese suppliers. This year, Alibaba‘s logistics firm Cainiao also opened a “World Cup special line” to ensure that goods from Yiwu can be delivered to their destinations in time.
The World Cup has played a large role in driving Yiwu’s exports. According statistics published by the city’s Customs agency, in the first eight months of this year, it exported 3.82 billion yuan ($533.3 million) of sporting goods and 9.66 billion yuan of toys. Related products include flags, football, whistles, horns, hand racquets and so on. In addition to the Middle East, the city exported 7.58 billion-yuan goods to Brazil, an increase of 56.7%. Exports to Argentina totaled 1.39 billion yuan, an increase of 67.2% while exports to Spain reached 4.29 billion yuan, an increase of 95.8%.
During the 2016 United States presidential election, the city’s export orders successfully “predicted” Donald Trump’s victory, adding a mysterious “Chinese power” to the city. Nowadays, some fans also hope to look for the clue of winning the championship this year from Yiwu’s World Cup related orders.
However, local industry practitioners gave a negative answer in an interview about “Yiwu can predict the winner of the World Cup”. “Companies can only guess which team has more fans according to the sales volume of soccer-related products.”
It is worth mentioning that there are many other Chinese elements in this World Cup event. Lusail Iconic Stadium, the main stadium of the World Cup, was built by The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) as the main contractor. Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Yutong provided 888 electric vehicles to the sportin event, which will undertake the tasks of transporting government officials, organizing committees, media and fans to sports venues. In addition, many Chinese enterprises have made their global debut by sponsoring the World Cup. In this year’s official sponsor list, Chinese enterprises occupy 4 seats.