An American PhD Mark’s Story in Yiwu
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Mark, is a real American, but he is more than a citizen from United States. He knows well about Yiwu and is a genuine Yiwu elite. “I wanna be a messenger spreading Yiwu commercial civilization. I hope Yiwu could be developing more rapidly and better.” Mark spoke that in a fluent Chinese. In the past five years, Mark did an unbelievable deep study to Yiwu market. He interviewed local officials, educators, businessmen and thousands of foreigners permanently living in Yiwu. He recorded materials of millions of words, and finally finished the book series, Yiwu in Foreigner’s Eyes, which was published in Aug.. It’s a book recording the real life and work status of foreigners in Yiwu, and it’s the book that was written from the viewpoint of a foreigner. As far as we have known, every guests attending the 2016 Hangzhou G20 Summit will receive an English-version copy.
Mark is the doctor of Cornell University, a member of Economic Society Research Center, MBA of Chicago University, and once appointed by Renmin University of China, Zhejiang University and Shandong University. Speaking of the affection between Yiwu and Mark, it was totally a coincidence in 2005. Graduated from the MBA program in Chicago University, Mark applied to study the PHD in Cornell University. His instructor has a hot affection to China. Under his influence, Mark chose the thesis on Chinese Market Economic Development.
“It’s an accident to choose Yiwu mode as my thesis direction.” During a study trip around Datang, Zhuji, Mark found out that those commodities approaching to the whole world were all from one place. That place was Yiwu. “It’s a miracle.” Astounded by the vast amount of fancy widgets and endless visitors around, Mark was enlightened. “I must introduce Yiwu to the whole world.”
From 2005 to 2009, Mark lived in Yiwu. Everyday, he footed or took buses to visit each corner of Yiwu, and experienced the local lives. At the same time, he started to study the Yiwu market growth way. In 2011, Mark successfully got his PHD degree, and embarked on writing the Yiwu in Foreigner’s Eyes. He returned to Yiwu and set about to study Yiwu streets and lanes. “Here we have endless stories. Each one owns a rewarding experience behind themselves. Yiwu is a highly international city where there are many foreigners from different countries. Mark really felt eased to do his research here. “I had been tens of Asian countries, and also visited many Chinese cities. Yiwu is of higher opening, wider vision, and warmer hospitality. They love talking with me.”
Entrepreneur Paradise is the first impression for many foreigner on Yiwu. Here Mark interviewed many foreigners. They were restaurant owners, teachers, businessmen from United States, Brazil, Chili, Argentina, India, Japan, Egypt, etc, and the list goes on. “There was an African doing trade business here. He brought his family to Yiwu. He thought this place contained rich commercial resources. A Syria businessmen is really happy with the living environment in Yiwu. And the story is going on.” During all these talks, Mark got deeply impressed by foreigners’ affection and passion on Yiwu.
From the viewpoint of Mark, care, upbeat, and thanksgiving are labels on Yiwu people, and in his opinion, that is the critical key to Yiwu’s success. “Boss Lou, who is engaged in straw industry, often spread caring and Chinese culture in his friends circle; a street cleaner, is full of confidence and passion for her future; an elder is trying his best to help students.” Many youths have inherited those fantastic qualities from their elders, and Mark believed, Yiwu would develop better.
2016 G20 Summit is being held in Hangzhou. Beginning from Hangzhou, the whole world would see how the harmonious balance between culture and economy works out in Zhejiang.