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Factory owners in Yiwu, China, may not have known the political views of the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, but five months before election night, they already knew that Donald Trump would win.
Now, about a year before the 2020 election, they predict Trump will win again.
Yiwu is a small city in eastern Zhejiang Province, yet it is well-known as the “largest small commodity wholesale manufacturing place in the world.” Factories in Yiwu making fabric products handle a huge portion of flag orders from all over the globe.
In 2016, when factory owners in Yiwu noticed that U.S. customers had switched to ordering flags supporting Donald Trump from those for Hillary Clinton, they knew Clinton flag sales could unexpectedly drop off, as Trump had far more supporters and would likely win the election.
Some of the factory bosses and workers shared their predictions on Chinese social media months before the election. When the final results came out, many Chinese were amused that people in Yiwu were more accurate at predicting who would win the election than polling agencies in the United States.
In preparation for the 2020 election, U.S. retailers are again sending purchase orders for banners, flags, and other fabric products.
Mr. Qian, manager of Mufan Household Textile Factory in Yiwu, told China Consumer Journal on Nov. 29 that recent orders he’s received are mostly for products related to the U.S. 2020 election.
“So far, almost all orders are for Trump support, such as flags with ‘Trump 2020,’ ‘Make America Great Again,’ and those with images of Trump. So far, I have received few orders supporting other candidates. I think Trump’s approval rate must be high,” Qian said.
Haite Clothing Co., another garment and accessories factory in Yiwu, sells fishing hats and baseball caps on Amazon and Alibaba. Manager Cheng Chenjie said baseball caps supporting Trump are selling extremely well, especially the red “Make America Great Again” cap that Trump wore during his 2016 campaign.
According to China Consumer Journal, Cheng said the largest order he recently received was for 5,000 Trump baseball hats.
A search on Alibaba’s international platform, using keywords “2020 election flags” or “2020 election banners,” produced 651 results. When sorting the results by sales volume, flags supporting Trump are currently more in demand than flags for any other presidential candidate.