Friday, July 5, 2024

Sihui City, China: Building a high-quality jade industry cluster

Sihui City, China: Building a high-quality jade industry cluster

四会:打造翡翠优质产业集聚区

Pan Yanmei China Gem Magazine 2024-07-04 11:58 Beijing, China

Sihui City, China: Building a high-quality jade industry cluster


Stones from other mountains become jade in Sihui.

As the hometown of jade in China, Sihui has a complete industrial chain integrating production, supply and sales. It is a well-known jade processing base and sales and wholesale distribution center in China. In order to fully understand the current situation and latest trends of Sihui jade market, the author conducted a field investigation and research on it. On this basis, the general situation of Sihui jade market and the characteristics and current situation of main stores are comprehensively explained.


1. Overview of Sihui Jade Market

Sihui City is a county-level city under Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, about 80 kilometers away from Guangzhou City. Sihui's jade market is known as the "Four Major Jade Wholesale Markets in Guangdong" together with the jade markets in Guangzhou, Pingzhou and Jieyang. At the same time, Sihui is also the largest jade processing base in China. Sihui does not produce jade, but it has a complete jade industry chain integrating production, supply and sales. In 2003, Sihui City was awarded the title of "Hometown of Chinese Jadeware", and "Jade City" naturally became the abbreviation of Sihui City. "Studying from other mountains, Sihui makes products" has become the most representative business card of Sihui.


The early Sihui jade market was mainly based on jade processing, and its history can be traced back to the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China, and then it was quiet for a while. By the mid-1960s, with the help of Guangzhou Nanfang Jade Carving Factory, Sihui established two craft factories, which cultivated a group of jade carving craftsmen who mainly made flower pieces for the early Sihui jade industry. Later, some of them opened husband-and-wife shops and brother shops in Shawei and other places in the form of "front shop and back factory". Because it was profitable, the relatives and friends of these craftsmen also followed suit, and the jade industry in Sihui was like a "snowball", rolling bigger and bigger. In the 1970s and 1980s, Sihui's jade carving industry developed rapidly with the help of the jade craze. In 1994, a new jade street was built on the other side of the river from Shawei Street, with more than 300 jade manufacturers. Subsequently, a jade city consisting of 8 buildings was built next to the jade street, and the "Tianguangxu" market with Sihui characteristics was also opened. Today, Sihui has become a famous jade processing base in China. With the development of jade carving technology and the improvement of jade quality, the varieties of jade processed by Sihui have become more diversified. In the past 100 years, Sihui has steadily developed from a gathering place for individual jade processing workshops to a jade wholesale market and jade processing and sales distribution center integrating production, supply and sales.


According to data released by the Sihui Municipal People's Government in 2023, Sihui currently processes more than 10,000 tons of jade raw materials annually, has about 33,000 jade business households, nearly 300,000 jade practitioners, 17 jade professional markets (bases), and an annual transaction volume of about 35 billion yuan. The scale of the jade industry ranks among the top in the country. The main jade markets in Sihui include: Tianguang Market, Wanxinglong Jade City, Jade Expo City, Yuruyi Jade City, Rifeng Raw Stone Trading Market, etc. Most of them are located on both sides of Sihui Avenue. They are geographically concentrated and have a complete industrial chain. These jade markets cover various categories of jade goods such as raw stones, rough materials (i.e. unpolished jade), loose stones, and finished products.


2. Characteristics of each market in Sihui


(I) TianGuangXu Jade Market


TianGuangXu Jade Market (hereinafter referred to as "TianGuangXu") is located 140 meters east of the intersection of Jiangli Road and the middle section of Sihui Avenue in Sihui City. It is the most popular market in Sihui and also a well-known jade market in the country (see Figure 1). Because it opens in the early morning and opens at dawn, it is named "Tianguang Market". In the early years, TianguangXu Market was open 24 hours a day. After adjustment, the current business hours are from 8 am to 12 pm. TianGuangXu Market has three time periods: morning, noon and evening. Merchants can rent stalls in sections according to the three time periods. When it is most popular, there are about a thousand merchants. The morning and afternoon markets are mainly for finished products, while the evening market is the long-renowned "raw material night market", which is mainly for raw materials and semi-finished products. Usually, TianGuangXu Jade Market is at its peak after 8 pm.

Inside TianGuangXu Jade Market

Inside TianGuangXu Jade Market

Due to its complete range of products and low prices, TianGuangXu Market attracts a large number of tourists and entry-level jade lovers. Compared with other mall-type jade markets in Sihui, TianGuangXu Market gives people a mysterious atmosphere, which is also the reason why it attracts many customers. The atmosphere of Tianguang Market comes from the light. The sky is hazy during transactions. Even though it has grown from a street stall to a professional market, the lighting in the market is still not good. Merchants basically have a desk lamp each. Therefore, there is a saying in the local area that "one person, one lamp, one miracle", and this kind of light will test the buyer's eyesight even more. Second, most of the goods sold are raw materials. The so-called raw materials refer to semi-finished jade products that have not been polished after carving. Purchasing such goods is like seeing flowers in the fog. The surface of the raw materials is generally sprayed with oil to increase its gloss. However, even if the unpolished jade is sprayed with oil, its water quality is still difficult to observe and determine. It is possible that the water quality of the goods will change significantly after polishing; or there may be no flaws on the rough material, but after polishing, the flaws and cracks will appear. Therefore, the rough material transaction has a certain gambling nature, but it is not as risky as the raw material investment. This feature hits the psychology of many consumers who want to find bargains but are afraid of risks, so the rough material transaction is deeply loved by some buyers (see Figure 2 and Figure 3). In the evening, 80 to 90% of the goods visiting Tianguang Market are rough materials. There are also processing and polishing studios around the market to facilitate subsequent processing, which is also a major feature of the Sihui Jade Market. It can be seen that Tianguang Market embodies the biggest feature of the Sihui Jade Market and is an old jade distribution center.

Rough jade materials sold in TianGuangXu Market (surface sprayed with oil)

Rough jade materials sold in TianGuangXu Market (surface sprayed with oil)


Rough jade ornaments sold in Tianguang Market


TianGuangXu Market also has a major feature, its categories are extremely rich. Beads, pendants, carvings, inlaid products, loose stones, rough materials, bracelets, etc., from rough materials to finished products, basically cover most categories of jade products (see Figure 4, Figure 5). However, Tianguang Market is still dominated by mid-to-low-end jade pendants and ornaments. Among them, "Guatemalan jade" (i.e. jade produced in Guatemala) also accounts for a certain proportion, about 10% to 20%. Due to purchase disputes over Guatemalan jade in recent years, most merchants selling Guatemalan jade in the market will clearly inform consumers that the goods they sell are Guatemalan jade (see Figure 6). The Guatemalan jade in Tianguang Market is mainly "blue water jade". This variety of Guatemalan jade has a blue base, coarse quality and low price.

Small jade carvings sold in TianGuangXu Market

Small jade carvings sold in TianGuangXu Market


Jade bracelets sold in TianGuangXu Market

Jade bracelets sold in TianGuangXu Market


Jade beads sold in TianGuangXu Market

Jade beads sold in TianGuangXu Market


(II) Wanxinglong Jade City

Wanxinglong Jade City (hereinafter referred to as "Wanxinglong") is about 15 minutes' walk from Tianguang Market. It opened in 2013 and is divided into two areas, south and north (see Figures 7 and 8). Jade products are mainly concentrated on the first and second floors of the south area. Rough materials are mainly concentrated on the first floor, which is especially famous for the morning market (7 am to 12 noon). This morning market is not large in area but very popular. Compared with Tianguang Market, there are more fine loose stones, small carvings and finished products here, and the overall quality and price are higher than the goods in Tianguang Market.


Wanxinglong Jade City

Wanxinglong Jade City

Inside the Wanxinglong Jade City Market

 Inside the Wanxinglong Jade City Market


The northern area of ​​Wanxinglong is mainly composed of some companies engaged in jade live broadcasting, such as Shilipai, Caishiweng, Xiaoliu Jade and other brands. They have implemented the "industry belt + live broadcast" model and attracted well-known e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Kuaishou, and Duizhuang to settle in. Wanxinglong has more than 1,000 merchants and more than 6,000 practitioners (see Figure 9).


Wanxinglong·Duizhuang Live Broadcast Base

Picture 9 Wanxinglong·Duizhuang Live Broadcast Base


(III)China Sihui Jade Expo City


China Sihui Jade Expo City (hereinafter referred to as "Jade Expo City") is located opposite Tianguang Market and officially opened in 2019. It is positioned at a higher end and tends to be a large jade mall. Although it was established later, it has attracted many merchants to settle in due to its high-end environment, good supporting equipment, and some preferential policies. Its business hours are from 9 am to 5 pm, and it is mainly divided into one underground floor and three above-ground floors. The first floor is for inlaid finished products, pendants and a small number of high-end bracelets; the second floor is for jade bracelets and some packaging and matching ropes, with a large number of bracelets covering all price ranges; the third floor is for jade ornaments; the underground floor is mainly for the lunch market of raw materials, starting at 2 pm. Yubo City mainly deals in mid-to-high-end jade, ranging from small fine pieces worth thousands of yuan to bracelets worth seven or eight figures (see Figures 10-14).

China Sihui Jade Expo City

Figure 10 China Sihui Jade Expo City


Inside the Jade Expo City

Figure 11 Inside the Jade Expo City


The first floor of Jade Expo City is mainly for finished products and pendants

Figure 12 The first floor of Jade Expo City is mainly for finished products and pendants


The second floor of Jade Expo City is mainly for bracelets

Figure 13 The second floor of Jade Expo City is mainly for bracelets


Jade ornaments on the third floor of Jade Expo City

Figure 14 Jade ornaments on the third floor of Jade Expo City


(IV) Yuruyi Jade City


Yuruyi Jade City is also located opposite TianguangXu Market. It has only one floor and a small area. It mainly sells inlaid finished products and bracelets. It is positioned at a higher end. The price of goods is much higher than other markets, and there are more full green goods. However, due to some preferential policies of the surrounding shopping malls, the merchants here have lost a lot (see Figure 15).

Yuruyi Jade City

Figure 15 Yuruyi Jade City


(V) Raw Stone Trading Market


Rifeng, Qingdong, Huitong, and Fusheng are concentrated together. The merchants here specialize in selling jadeite raw stones and flakes, mainly transparent materials. The raw stone market usually opens at 7 am and closes at around 2 pm. The jadeite raw stones sold range from low-end to high-end. In most areas of the market, a stall is a few lines drawn on the ground. Buyers don’t care whether the stall is high-end or low-end, they only care about the quality and value of the jade. Compared with finished products and rough materials, the threshold for raw stones is much higher, so most of the buyers here are jade merchants and jade carving factory managers from Sihui and other parts of Guangdong. Some merchants in Sihui bid for jadeite raw stones from Yunnan and then transported them back to Guangdong. Some of the raw stones they bid for were cut and processed by themselves, and some were sent to the bidding factory for further bidding (see Figures 16 and 17).

The interior of the raw stone trading market such as Rifeng. Part 1

The interior of the raw stone trading market such as Rifeng. Part 1


The interior of the raw stone trading market such as Rifeng. Part 2

The interior of the raw stone trading market such as Rifeng. Part 2


There are many processing factories gathered near the raw stone market, which is convenient for merchants to cut and process the goods after purchasing them. The raw materials of jade products made by jade merchants of all sizes in Sihui are basically purchased and processed in the Rifeng Jade Trading Market (see Figure 18-20).

Blade cutting machine

Blade cutting machine


Wire cutting machine

Wire cutting machine

Making jade bracelets

Making jade bracelets

Making jade bracelets


3. Sihui jade online sales market


Sihui jade online live broadcast sales began to develop around the end of 2016. At first, it was mainly a mobile live broadcast with one person and one machine - "walking broadcast" (see Figure 21), and soon it formed a relatively fixed location "sitting broadcast". So far, the live broadcast method has gradually developed into fixed-point live broadcast rooms, live broadcast companies and even live broadcast cities, and the corresponding scale has also developed from individual live broadcasts to team operations with clear division of labor; the live broadcast platform has also changed from the original entertainment to more targeted commercial live broadcasts, such as merchants logging into Taobao, Douyin and various comprehensive or specialized jewelry live broadcast apps such as Duizhuang, and the live broadcast content has changed from the initial method of guiding fans to consume to the method of the anchor consciously guiding fans to shop. The live broadcast sales market of the entire jade category has begun to take shape, and has attracted more and more investment with considerable traffic and huge transaction volume rumored in the industry.

One person one machine mobile live broadcast

One person one machine mobile live broadcast


Sihui Market has successively innovated and led sales models such as "Internet + live broadcast" and "Internet + auction", and e-commerce live broadcast sales are at the forefront of the country. At present, Taobao, Douyin, Kuaishou, Duizhuang and other large and small online platforms have entered Sihui. As of 2022, e-commerce sales accounted for more than 60% of Sihui's total jade sales, and daily online sales increased from 20 million yuan per day in 2018 to more than 100 million yuan per day (data from the official website of Sihui Municipal People's Government released in 2023). At present, Sihui live broadcasts are mainly low- and medium-end jade products, mostly in the hundreds and thousands of yuan range, but after communicating with merchants, we learned that the return rate of live broadcasts is still high, reaching about 80%.


4. Overall analysis of Sihui jade market


In general, Sihui market is dominated by low- and medium-end jade, and the types of jade processing cover a wide range, especially jade ornaments (including fine and high-end goods), and it is also the main distribution center for semi-finished jade products (unpolished). Sihui jade market can be mainly divided into raw material market, rough material market, finished product market and online live sales channel.


The raw material market is mainly concentrated near Rifeng Jade Trading Market, mainly with clear materials. The merchants who sell raw materials in various stores in Sihui basically purchase raw materials in the Rifeng Jade Trading Market for processing and production. Compared with the raw material markets in Yunnan and other places, the price advantage of the raw material market in Sihui is not obvious, but because most of them are clear materials and flake materials, the gambling and risk are smaller.


The raw material market is mainly concentrated in the Tianguangxu Night Market, Wanxinglong Morning Market and Yubo City Lunch Market. Raw materials are a major feature of the Sihui market. Generally speaking, they are mainly medium- and low-end products, with large quantities and rich categories. Its processing capacity and price are extremely advantageous and competitive nationwide. Sihui's jade products are mostly medium-sized ornaments and small flower pieces and play pieces. Overall, the quality of raw materials is average. The main carvings are mostly flowers, birds, fish, insects, poultry and animals. The interest in life is strong, and the craftsmanship of the ornaments is generally high (see Figure 22). In the field of jade pendants (flower pieces), fine workmanship and rough workmanship each account for a certain proportion. In Tianguang Market, you can see craftsmanship of different grades, high, medium and low. The best carvings are mostly made by Fujian craftsmen. The animal shapes are accurately grasped, the ideas are ingenious, and the selling price is relatively high; many low-level crafts are apprentice works or "quick work" to meet market needs. The raw materials are low-grade, with thick lines and large outlines. They mainly flow into the low-end consumer market.

Jade ornaments (spraying oil on the surface of the rough material)

Jade ornaments (spraying oil on the surface of the rough material)

Finished jade is scattered in various jade markets in Sihui. Jade pendants, small carvings, and jade bracelets are the main products. There are fewer inlaid finished products. The overall market is mainly medium and low-grade, mainly highlighting the price advantage.


From the market situation, the popularity of Sihui jade market has rebounded significantly since 2023, so most merchants are optimistic about sales. The mid-to-high-end products have increased by 30%~50%, but the low-end products have not changed much. The overall market is steadily improving, showing a booming development trend.


Pan Yanmei

FGA Gemological Association Gemologist, precious metal jewelry and gemstone tester technician. Graduated from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) with a master's degree. Currently works at the Beijing Education Company of the Jewelry National Inspection Group, engaged in the teaching and research of jewelry and jade.


Note: This article is reproduced from the 3rd issue of "China Gem" magazine in 2024.


Welcome jewelry merchants from all over the world to exchange and learn in Sihui, China. 

Sihui City is the world's largest jade wholesale market. In the future, it will develop in the direction of the entire industry chain of gold, diamonds, silver and pearls.


Douyin e-commerce "Gold Origin Sihui Jade Festival" grand opening


Investment Promotion Bureau of Sihui City

Address: 3F, Administrative Center, Dongcheng Street, Sihui City, Guangdong Province

Tel:   0086-758-3611228

Fax:  0086-758-3611188

Email: SHQYFW@VIP.163.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

精选的博文

The headquarters project of Oubo Group's high-end beauty full industry chain manufacturing base (Sihui City, China) is accelerating construction

The headquarters project of Oubo Group's high-end beauty full industry chain manufacturing base (Sihui City, China) is accelerating cons...