Bloomberg Businessweek

Where Santa’s Elves Speak Mandarin

The Chinese town that produces most of the world’s Christmas lights doesn’t fear a trade war
Employees make branches for artificial trees at Bosen Crafts’ factory in Yiwu

The charmless trading city of Yiwu in southern China doesn’t have elves or snow, but it’s as close to Santa’s workshop as you can get outside the North Pole. The streets of its commercial district are crowded with shops peddling all things Christmas: minitrees, plastic reindeer, glittery wreaths, and flashing lights of every color—lots and lots of lights. The stores are stuffed wall-to-wall with Yuletide swag, and goods routinely spill out onto the sidewalk—all the better to catch the attention of visiting buyers from the U.S. and other Western nations.

President Trump’s trade war was supposed to be the Grinch to steal the Christmas cheer from this holiday-exporting hub about 175 miles southwest

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek4 min readPolitics
Wall Street And Democrats Are Still Friends
In February, Pete Buttigieg stepped into the Manhattan office of Wall Street veteran Charles Myers to talk politics over deli sandwiches. Citigroup Inc. Managing Director Yann Coatanlem hosted a fundraiser in March for Kamala Harris at his Fifth Aven
Bloomberg Businessweek3 min read
England 4, Brexit 0 (With Foreign Help)
The finalists in Europe’s two top soccer tournaments are English. The coaches and many players aren’t
Bloomberg Businessweek4 min readPolitics
The U.S. Tries To Delete Huawei
Bluster is a key weapon in the trade war between the U.S. and China. So it’s natural to want to dismiss the latest salvo—a U.S. Department of Commerce ban on doing business with Chinese national champion technology company Huawei—as another short-ter