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Teaching English in Yiwu

Yiwu is a city of about 1.2 million people in central Zhejiang province, People’s Republic of China. The city is famous for its small commodity trade and vibrant free markets and is a tourist destination.

Yiwu was founded in the Qin dynasty, around 222 BC. Yiwu’s long history flourished as early as the Neolithic Age. In 1995 Yiwu ranked the 47th among China’s 100 most powerful counties/cities regarding comprehensive economic strength and in the same year listed as Zhejiang’s sole city among the nation’s experimental counties/cities of comprehensive reform. In 2001 the Yiwu overall economy ranked 19th of all counties (cities) of China.

The city’s early culture has given birth to a number of notable figures in literature, art, military, education and engineering. Among these were Chen Wangdao, China’s first translator of the Communist Manifesto; Wu Han, historian and former deputy mayor of Beijing; Zhu Zhixi, the engineer who harnessed the Yellow River, Zhu Danxi, one of the four distinguished doctors of the Jin and Yuan Dynasties, and Zongze, a well-known general from the Song Dynasty who resisted aggression by the State of Jin, and Wang Lee Hom, a famous singer.

City Statistics

  • Population: 1.2 million
  • Public Transportation: 1 major train station, 1 international airport, hundreds of bus routes & taxis
  • Language: Mandarin, Yiwu dialects
  • Climate: Continental, with four distinct seasons
  • EF Yiwu Flagship opened in 2003

What Makes Yiwu Unique?

  • Yiwu is famous in China as a commodities centre. The Yiwu market has for 6 consecutive years topped China’s 100 top open markets and was for successive years listed as “China’s civilised open market.”
  • The Zhejiang-Jiangxi Railway and Hangzhou-Jinhua Expressway passes through the city, making Yiwu an important local transportation hub. By train, it is less than 3 hours from Shanghai, an easy trip for those who are looking to travel while teaching English in China.
  • Yiwu is the largest market of petty commodity wholesalers in the world where various foreign buyers go to place order,” according to the Chinese Figures Astonishing the World joint report from the United Nations, the World Bank and Morgan Stanley.
  • The city was ranked first among cities in “the 2004 Most Favorite Chinese Cities of Domestic and Foreign Public in 2004”.
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