Yiwu city is located in the central part of Zhejiang province, bordering the eastern edge of the Jinhua-Quzhou Basin. Covering an area of 1,105 square kilometers, it administers six towns and eight sub-districts. Downtown Yiwu covers 103 sq km.
In 2021, the regional GDP of the city was 173 billion yuan ($27.21 billion).
Established in 222 BC, Yiwu was initially called Wushang county, named after Yan Wu, a local resident known for his dutiful behavior. It was upgraded from a county to a city in 1988.
It has cultivated some famous people, including Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet Luo Binwang, high-ranking Song Dynasty (960-1279) military officer Zong Ze, famed physician Zhu Danxi in the Jin (1115-1234) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, eminent Zen monk Fu Dashi in the Liang Dynasty (AD 502-557), as well as educator Chen Wangdao, literary theorist Feng Xuefeng and historian Wu Han in modern times.
In March 2011, it was approved as a comprehensive pilot reform project for international trade by the State Council. The city's foreign trade has increased tenfold in eight years of development, thanks to its tireless exploration, reform and opening-up.
Yiwu has created a trade system that exports goods bought at local shopping malls. The new type of trade has been replicated in domestic counterparts and has helped boost entrepreneurship, innovation and industrial upgrades. In 2013, a trial program for an individual cross-border renminbi trade settlement was launched in the city to promote the growth of trade by independent entrepreneurs in the city.
The Yiwu International Trade Market, with 75,000 booths in a business area of 5.5 million square meters, is the epicenter of the world's largest trading hub for small commodities.