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YIWU/SHANGHAI, China - At the Yiwu Fuye Christmas factory in eastern China, workers are stitching and testing out Santa Claus toys, checking they play a Christmas tune at the press of a button.
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But the jingles are the only seasonal cheer in the factory in the city of Yiwu, which produces 80% of Christmas consumer goods exported globally, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
“There is no way to save this year,” Luo Jingjing, the company’s co-owner, told Reuters after losing almost half her clients because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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“Let’s see if the virus will return when weather becomes cold and if it does, my next year’s business is also finished,” she added.
Yiwu is a city dedicated to Christmas all year round, filled with factories, showrooms and stores that deliver decorations and toys to destinations all around the world.
The city last year exported around 1.92 billion yuan ($278.02 million) worth of Christmas products between January and October, up 23.9% from the previous year, according to government data.