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Shaoxing's 'fabric hunter': Tracking down threads

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: January 30, 2024 L M S

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"Fabric Hunter" Gu Fuqiang (left) holds a customer's fabric sample in China Textile City, Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Jin Yanxiang for Tide News]

In Shaoxing's China Textile City, "fabric hunters" like Gu Fuqiang and his counterparts cater to urgent needs for textile products.

With over 30,000 businesses offering 50,000 textile varieties, China Textile City is a global hub with a vast sales network spanning 200 countries and regions.

Gu, with over two years of fabric hunting experience, has a mental map of the city, swiftly identifying each stall's primary offerings through on-the-go learning.

He mentioned his early struggles, saying, "At the beginning, it would sometimes take me all day to find the fabric I needed. But over time, I learned, asked around, and maintained thick notebooks."

Gu proudly displayed one of his notebooks, which records over 20 transactions on busy days. "In China Textile City, dedication reaps rewards," he noted. Gu and his wife, now earning over 20,000 yuan ($2,804.06) monthly, plan to open their own textile shop.

He shared insights into the competitive world of fabric hunting, mentioning periodic competitions where some find the required fabric within 20 minutes. Proficient in foreign languages, some hunters have even been doing business with international clients.

China Textile City launched the "Xiaoge Zhaobu" website in late 2022. Digitizing and centralizing traditional fabric-hunting businesses, it has successfully handled over 54,000 fabric searches through online matching and offline verification.