China: Introduction (01:27)
The Silk Road links China to Europe approximately 2,000 years ago, enabling global commerce. Sumnima Udas will retrace the caravan trails and examine modern commerce.
China's Silk Capital (03:33)
Silk is a global commodity, and China produces 800,000 tons each year. Huanbei Silk and Fashion Center in Hangzhou is one of the world's largest silk markets.
Zhejang Province (05:02)
Silkworms are farmed to make thread. Lin Hui manages operations at TL Silk. Each strand is separated on rolls and then woven on automated looms. Well Lam explains why he purchased automated looms to replace workers.
Udas describes how Chinese manufacturers learned how to make silk in the Zhejiang province centuries ago. Products produced in China include electronics, toys, cosmetics and fashions. Xudan Yang explains how she sells silk on the Internet.
Online Sales (03:23)
China has about 650 million Internet users, twice the population of the United States. Popular e-commerce platform Alibaba has become synonymous with selling online. Udas explains how such sites have created a “virtual silk road” between China and buyers in the West.
Udas gives a historical overview of Xi’an, the former imperial capital where the Silk Road began. Ruixi Hu explains how a confluence of cultures shaped the city’s culinary traditions. Tang West Market is emblematic of Xi’an’s economic resurgence.
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