What really is behind the production of Chinese new year toys.
Artificial Christmas trees, bright Christmas decorations, shining “a rain” and a lot of different things for the Catholic Christmas and the Orthodox New year are created by the ton in Chinese factories. However, in what conditions there is all the work to create these Christmas decorations. Some workers 15 years and their work is worth a penny and the Christmas holidays are not holidays at all, and hard work.
Welcome to the Christmas Town in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, which produces 60 percent of Christmas decorations for around the world. We do everything from plastic Christmas trees to the caps of Santa Claus, from magnets “happy new year” to artificial deer in full growth.
320 km from Shanghai is Yiwu, a city which is 600 factories for the production of Christmas toys and decorations. The bulk of production goes on sale in Europe and America. Near the plants grew huge retail market of Christmas goods is now this market is about three and a half square kilometers and is the largest in the world. The property market is more than 3,000 stalls that sell everything that can be somehow connected with the New Year, and sold it at a very low price.
This price is primarily due to the low pay workers. Many of the factory workers leave their families in villages and literally live at work. Many of them rented a small room with other workers and at best have 2 weeks of vacation per year. Most of workers working in the factory from 7 am to 9 PM, and their salary depends on the amount of completed work.
15-year-old Zhao Yimin, who wears a sweater with an embroidered rabbit on the chest, stringing Christmas rain and collects it in bunches of 12 pieces. Zhao does not receive a salary on hand, at this age she has not yet put so earned the girl the money is automatically added to the salary of her mother, who also works at the plant. They moved from Yunnan which is famous for its high level of unemployment. During operation, Zhao cuts out the time on the textbooks. “We came here because here it is possible to get, – says the girl. But I’m not going to work here my whole life.”
Another girl, 18-year-old Yang GUI Hua, also works 14 hours a day. She works with artificial Christmas trees. “It’s hard work, but when I learn to do it faster, then I will earn more,” says the girl.
As you might guess, the factory owners are multimillionaires, because, despite the cheapness of the product, it still pays off and sold just incredibly large quantities. One of these owners is Guan Reng, known as the “King of Christmas trees”. Rung is the founder and CEO of a factory that creates a million trees for export every year. His factory is located on the very edge of the city for 10 years, and now it employs more than 300 workers, the majority of whom are migrants from other provinces of China. There are a variety of Christmas trees, from “very natural” to made of shiny tinsel artificial trees in many colors.
“The British love shiny Christmas trees – says Reng, strolling through the showroom of his factory. And the Americans like the trees that look more natural.” Christmas trees are collected from April to September. The work is noisy, energy-consuming, the workers sleep four in one room and work 14 hours a day 6 days a week. “Next year we will move to a new location. This factory will be twice the current and the working conditions there are better says Reng. – They will have TV, Internet. We want our workers were happy and never left my job.”
Wang Chao, the woman behind the manufacture of hats Santa Claus and Christmas socks for gifts, is located in the industry new year goods for 20 years. “My family has always been associated with the production of clothing, but in the 1990s, I saw that the real opportunities are hidden in the Christmas goods. Then I didn’t even understand what this holiday is, but I saw how huge this market is. And now we are ahead of the rest. The competition is great.” When Vang asked if she celebrates Christmas or New Year, she laughs. “No, I celebrate Chinese holidays. For us, the Christmas and New year – it’s just business.”
Most of the work is done manually.
Workers at one of the factories of China.
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