Vietnam now produces twice as many Adidas shoes as China, according to company filings.
If you had guessed that in 2018, China’s garment industry would be shifting abroad, most economists would have called you crazy. China invented high-volume garment exports, with entire cities in the country growing around the production and perfection of certain types of clothing.
At one point, Datang, China's 'Sock City,' made most of the world’s socks in a given year, an estimated nine billion pairs. Other garment cities that specialize in things like children’s clothing, underwear or sweaters, similarly tower over an internationally competitive landscape in which China, with its low salaries and organized infrastructure, has long been top dog.
But that’s no longer the case for shoe manufacturers, who have begun to seek a bluer competitive ocean in Vietnam. Salaries here trend to about half of those in China, according to the Japan External Trade Organization, which has been attracting large-scale international players.
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