I am at Ningbo Beilun, the forefront of opening and economy development of Zhejiang Province, argubally the most dynamic province in China these days. “Zhe Shang”, the business people from Zhejiang province, makes and sells many things you see in Wal-mart: underwear, stationary, toys, small applicance, etc. The scale of economy is enormous: I heard one time on NPR that in one villiage there are 26 plants which supplied 60% buttons of the world.
Of course I can not talk about Zhe Shang without mentioning the group of people from Wenzhou, “the Wenzhou house flippers”. A few years ago some people from Wenzhou saw the potential in Shanghai’s real estate, and they bought lots of apartment buildings and bet the price will go up. Now they all made a fortune. Last I heard some of them already bought some land in Hai’an and Haimeng (near Nantong) because there is a plan to build a bridge (over the sea) connecting Shanghai and Haimeng.
These are shrewd business people. Interestingly, on Shanghai Dragon TV (Oriental TV), I saw a show about Zhe Shang and Su Shang (business people from Jiangsu province). In US terms, Zhe Shang has the “street smarts”, Su Shang has the “book smarts”; Zhe Shang speculates, while Su Shang invests for long term. Certainlly all these are in relative terms. BTW, I am not a typical Zhejiang Native 🙂