Step inside the 'Made in China' capital of the world, where you can find everything from pacifiers to Christmas ornaments

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Yiwu International Trade City in Yiwu, China, is known as “Commodity City.”
  • It’s the world’s largest wholesale market.
  • Photographer Raffaele Petralla spent a month documenting the items sold there and the people who sell them.

If you’ve ever bought Christmas decorations or children’s toys, chances are they came from Yiwu, China.

Yiwu International Trade City, known as “Commodity City,” is home to the world’s largest wholesale market — 46 million square feet, to be exact, with over 62,000 booths inside. About 65-70% of these products are exported to over 215 countries and regions.

When photographer Raffaele Petralla read about Commodity City in “Confessions of an Eco-Sinner” by Fred Pierce, he knew he wanted to document the streets lined with wholesale merchandise and the people who call the city home.

Here are his incredible photos of the place where most “Made in China” products come from.

Yiwu International Trade City is the world's largest wholesale market located in Yiwu, Zhejiang, China.

Skyline of the new offices of the Trade Market Center in Yiwu City.

Its five districts total 46 million square feet and house 62,000 booths.

A wholesaler in the exhibition space inside the Market Trade Center.

There are 400,000 different kids of products available to order at wholesale prices.

Deep in the toy district.

About 65-70% of what's sold there is exported.

A wholesale dealer of head coverings for Muslim women.

It's the origin of 60% of the world's Christmas decorations.

Business owner Uan Xiao Fyn posing in one of his warehouses of Christmas ornaments.

Photographer Raffaele Petralla spent a month documenting the items sold there and the people who sell them.

An exhibition store of toy guns.

He said most of the shopkeepers are relatives or friends of the owners of the companies that produce the goods.

A stand displaying children's costumes in the toy district.

They work long hours, from eight in the morning until 10 at night.

A businessman in the toy district.

Petralla was drawn to the seemingly infinite nature of the materials.

A stand of kites.

'I decided to focus on the multiplicity of products, on their seriality, the very bright colours of plastic products,' he told INSIDER in an email.

A wholesale stand of balls in the toy district.

He was also surprised by how many shops sold fake plants.

A stand selling fake plants.

Of course, he made sure to bring back gifts for his grandchildren.

A worker in a factory of inflatable plastic bats for children.

The remote-controlled drones he bought 'were nice, very cheap, and my grandchildren were very happy,' he said. 'The same product was a 'top product' for Christmas in Italy, and, in fact, I found the same toys in Italy at much higher prices.'

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