“"There was a period when a great many overseas buyers were logging on to Alibaba to look for Chinese companies to produce cheap items for them instead of coming to China,“ he said. … “Those two years probably were the peak period of e-commerce trading in China, as competition was not very tough in the rapidly expanding overseas market,” Ai said. But it got harder to turn a profit as the market became saturated and labor costs rose. In 2011 and 2012, Ai could make a simple piece of jewelry for about 5 yuan, and he could sell it to overseas clients for 7 yuan. But now, despite his own costs rising due to wage hikes, he can’t raise his selling prices due to stiff competition. As a result, “I’ve paid more attention to design and drawn a wider variety of products for the clients to choose from,” said Ai, adding that “what gives me my edge is the quality and stylishness of my products.””

Traders in Yiwu cashing in on e-commerce shops |Industries |chinadaily.com.cn

February 19, 2017