The Shanghai-based Xin Wen Chen Bao (Morning News) visited Qing Yan Liu, the village that has been referred to as “Taobao Village” since 2008 when it was crowded with thousands of Taobao retailers who were making a good living. But this time the journalist finds some store owners there having a hard time and some left. Golden times are gone.

Liu Wengao, a Qing Yan Liu villager and current deputy head of Zhejiang e-commerce merchants association, says currently only a dozen out of one hundred entrepreneurs can survive in the Taobao ecosystem. But years back almost every Taobao store set up ran by people in the village was successful.

Qing Yan Liu, with about two hundred local households, is located in Yiwu, a city in central Zhejiang province and where  has been known as one of the biggest small commodity wholesale markets in the world. For years merchants from all over the world flied into this city. There was a wholesale market next to Qing Yan Liu till 2008 when merchants doing business in the market were asked to move to a bigger and farther commercial area, leaving with rental village houses empty.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com