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Muslim month of fasting becomes feast for Chinese exporters

For Lucy Liu, a saleswoman at a decorative lights trading company called Shenzhen Reson Technology in South China’s Guangdong Province, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has presented new business opportunities.

Because of the growing demand for decorative lights during Ramadan, the company started exporting lights to the Middle East in 2014, Liu said.

"So far, our shipping volume for 2017 has slightly increased over the same period in 2016, and we have been working with e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay since 2016," she told the Global Times on Monday.

Liu noted that Reson Technology sells an estimated $300,000 worth of Ramadan festival lights each year.

Ramadan, which begins and end according to a lunar calendar, started on May 26 this year. During the month, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset.

In many cities with large Muslim populations, people decorate streets and alleys with festival lights of different shapes to prepare for the holy month.

Countries and regions with the largest Muslim populations have close trade ties with China. Business representatives come to China to source products and ship them back home.

"It’s customary that all Muslims wear new clothing and new shoes on Eid al-Fitr," the holiday that closes Ramadan, said Mir Faisal, chief executive of Shanghai-based Xianhong Trading Shanghai Co. Originally from Pakistan, Mir said he has been living in China for 15 years.

Festival lights are used to decorate mosques during the holy month, he said.

The growing demand for small commodities provides business opportunities for Yiwu’s vendors.

"It’s a peak business time," he told the Global Times on Tuesday.

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