PHOTOS: Take a Look at the Real Santa's Workshop

By That's, December 23, 2022

4 0

Manufacturing center Yiwu, in eastern Zhejiang Province, produces 90% of China’s Christmas decorations and 60% of the whole world’s. 

Thirty-eight-year-old Wei and his 19-year-old son left their hometown in Guizhou in search of work, lured to Yiwu by the promise of better-paid work over the Christmas season. 

Working 10 hours a day from 7am until 9pm, they each make RMB3,000 a month producing these sparkling red snowflake ornaments.

The father and son duo produce 5,000 star ornaments a day in their 60-square-meter workshop, and go through an average of 10 face masks. 

Most of the orders from Europe and America are sent out by September, and by the time December rolls around they’re just supplying domestic demand.

The younger Wei left school at age 17 to work in a grit factory with his father. He says he really wanted to go back to school at first, but now no longer thinks about it. 

Despite the amount of time he spends making Christmas happen for people around the world, the younger Wei has no idea what the holiday means. He hazards a guess: “Maybe it's foreigners’ New Year?”

The Weis don’t wear Santa hats to get into the holiday spirit, but to keep the red power out of their hair. 

The younger Wei says he’s already prepared two outfits for when he returns to his home village to celebrate Chinese New Year, to show his old classmates that he’s doing well for himself.

A Christmas goods shop in Yiwu’s Futian District.

Around the corner, Master Gao and his wife produce Santa Claus dolls. They can roll out 40 a day. 

A procurer from Hong Kong helps Indian businessman Aneesh purchase Christmas ornaments for a Marriott hotel in his home country.

A Christmas products factory that suffered a fire.

On December 25, the Weis will finally set down their tools and rest, then head home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

This article was originally published in December 2014 on It has been republished on December 22, 2022.

[Images via Sina]

more news

Yao Ming Reflects on China's Basketball Past, Present & Future

We caught up with Yao Ming to discuss the growth of the game in China and its future in the country.

This Day in History: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

On July 7, 1937, the cataclysmic event that led to the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Useful Mandarin Phrases: Thanksgiving

A list of essential Thanksgiving phrases to help you through the classic American holiday!

This Day in History: China Star Li Ning Shines at 1984 Olympics

Defying a Soviet Union-led boycott, Li Ning earns the nickname Prince of Gymnasts.

This Day in History: China Ends the Eunuch Era

Finally banned in 1924, the system had endured for over 3,000 years and through 25 dynasties.

A Fun-Filled Family Weekend at Sound of Spring 2021

Thanks to everyone who made it such a great event!

8 of Shanghai's Best Parks

It’s the perfect time to check out some of Shanghai's most popular parks. Here’s our pick of the best.

New Film 'The Six' Tells Untold Titanic Chinese Survivors' Story

Arthur Jones' new documentary gets nationwide release this Friday.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives