26 September 2023

Misleading: Video shows Yiwu market in Shenzhen, not Zhejiang’s world’s largest wholesale market

The video has nothing to do with the famous Yiwu International Trade City in Zhejiang, also known as the Yiwu market, which was locked down only for 10 days in mid-August.

In early November, some Twitter users suggested China’s economy and prosperity are on the decline with a video showing the inside of what they called the “Yiwu market,” filled with rubbish and discarded items on the floor.

The clip has been viewed more than 150,000 times as of this writing.

One user wrote, when translated into English literally, “Yiwu is an important export market in China. The prosperity is over and only memories remain. Decline is reality.”

This and other similar tweets seem to imply the video was shot at the well-known Yiwu International Trade City, the world’s largest wholesale market complex, also known as the Yiwu market, in Zhejiang province.

However, the video in question actually shows another Yiwu commodity market in Longgang district in Shenzhen.

It was rather obvious because the words “深圳义乌” (Shenzhen Yiwu) can be seen on a banner that appears in the video.

But to make sure, Annie Lab further looked into the clip.

From the Douyin logo and user number 997592118 shown in the upper left corner of the video, we found the account that posted the original footage.

A user named “菲姐好物” says the market is in Shenzhen in one of the few videos she took there.

The original video uploader “菲姐好物” says this Yiwu market is in Shenzhen.

We also geolocated the shops that appeared in the video with other clips we found elsewhere.

An identical banner with the word 深圳 (Shenzhen) can be found in another video taken at the same market.
San Qi gift (三奇礼品) shop is located in the Yiwu market in Shenzhen.

According to the local authority, the current Yiwu commodity market in Shenzhen is going to be demolished before it gets renovated. The original plan was approved in 2020 but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Yiwu International Trade City in Zhejianghas has a significant impact on the world trade market. According to the Guardian, for example, more than 60% of the world’s Christmas decorations come from there.

The Yiwu market in Zhejiang experienced a lockdown in mid-August this year, but the restriction was lifted after 10 days, according to the Global Times.

As a fact-checking organization, we cannot attest to the state of the Chinese economy, but we can confirm that the widely shared video does not show Zhejiang’s Yiwu Market.