i just got back from a 2 day business trip to quanzhou, fujian. the wikipedia article talks a lot about the products that quanzhou’s economy depends on:
Quanzhou is a major exporter of agricultural products such as tea, banana, lychee and rice. It is also a major producer of quarry granite and ceramics. Other industries include textiles, footwear, fashion and apparel, packaging, machinery, paper and petrochemicals
of most interest for this post, however is hidden right in there. footwear – specifically sports footwear.
for some reason (proximity and cultural closeness to shoe producing taiwan, port city, money, closeness to former special economic zone city of xiamen) quanzhou has become the center for crappy chinese brands of athletic footwear with brands like x-step, yao, adivon, athletic, cba, k-bird, and what i’ve been told are thousands of other brands headquartered in this medium sized city.
here’s some of the advertising billboards around town – only taken in my 10 minute drive to the airport from my iphone. there’s literally hundreds more i didn’t get a good shot of.