China has a "wig capital"

Last September, former AC Milan footballer George Via (George Weah) of Liberia chose a very different route from other African leaders when he went to China for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. In addition to visiting Beijing, Wei also made a special trip to Xuchang, a prefecture-level city in central Henan Province, to visit a local wig production company. 

Why did George Via make a special trip to Xuchang? 

George Viah goes to Xu Changtu from IC Photo. 
It turns out that Xu Chang has been known as the "capital of wigs" since the 19th century. Local people have been doing business on their heads, and through the tentacles of e-commerce, Xu Chang has sold wigs all over the world. 

Recently, Hong Kong's "South China Morning Post" reported on Xu Chang, telling the story behind Xu Chang's second largest wig export market after Africa overtook Europe as the United States in recent years. 

According to data from the South China Morning Post on May 25, China was the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of wigs in 2018, with export sales of US $3.6 billion, accounting for nearly 70 to 80 percent of the global market. The export sales of Xuchang reached 1 billion yuan. Some of the large enterprises that make and sell wigs in Xuchang now have annual wig export sales of more than US $250 million. 

With the promotion of Belt and Road Initiative's policy, the improvement of living standards in African countries, and the recent increase in high tariffs on wig imports by the United States, Xu Chang's wig export focus has gradually shifted from the United States to Africa. 

Chinese businessmen sell wigs to Nigerian retailers. 
As an important city in the wig trade between China and Africa, it is not surprising that George Viah chose Xu Chang as the city to visit. 

Xu Chang, the capital of wigs. 

According to the South China Morning Post, Xuchang's wig manufacturing and sales industry began to rise in the 19th century, and gradually formed industrialization and scale in recent years. From the collection of hair, to the production of wigs and then to overseas exports, Xuchang, there are more than 200 enterprises engaged in wig production upstream and downstream industries, related practitioners are more than 300000. 

Xu Chang's wig Manufacturing Industry Map from Vision China. 
Take Huazhuang around Xuchang as an example, the village is the upper reaches of Xuchang wig industry. More than half of the more than 1000 people in the village are doing wig collection. 

In addition to Huazhuang, Xuchang Xiaogong Village, Zhangqiao, Zunzhuang, Tangzhuang, Weizhuang and other villages are also full of wig workshops, villagers use their own houses, or build a simple shed. The collected hair is sorted by color and then processed. 

Then the hair flowed into big companies like Rebecca. Henan Ruibeika hair products Co., Ltd. is Xuchang's largest wig manufacturing and export company, with wig export sales of US $274 million in 2018. In 2003, the company was officially listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, becoming the first stock issued in China. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has also used Rebecca wigs. 

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used Rebecca's wig to visualize China. 
Rebecca has a well-equipped production workshop. After obtaining hair from the supplier, workers need to do 121 processes, such as cleaning, coloring and combing, in order to make a wig completely. Then, with the help of Alibaba and other ecommerce platforms, Rebecca's wigs were ready to be shipped around the world. 

On average, a wig is bought every two seconds, according to express, a cross-border ecommerce platform owned by Alibaba. Of these, wigs will grow at an annual rate of about 50% in Europe and the United States, and 100% to 300% in Africa. 

For local entrepreneurs, the proportion of e-commerce sales has gradually increased in recent years. Shen Dali, general manager of Henan Aoyuan Industrial Co., Ltd., which is also engaged in wig production and export, said: "the company now has 40% to 50% of the share is realized directly through the B2C platform express, the remaining share or follow the traditional B2B foreign trade model. "


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