On October 23, 2023, the ninth day of the ninth month in Chinese lunar year, the grand worship ceremony was held in Shangqiu City, Henan Province, China. About 500 representatives of Chinese merchants from home and abroad gathered together to worship Wang Hai, the ancestor of Chinese merchants, and promote the spirit of Chinese merchants, which is characterized by upholding virtue and benevolence, emphasizing business ethics, honesty and trustworthiness, and seeking innovation and change, and express the determination of unity and collaboration for the future, according to the Organizing Committee of the 9th China Shangqiu International Chinese Merchants Festival.
The groundwork for this gathering was laid 4,000 years ago. At that time, there was a tribe called "Shang" that was active in this area. The seventh leader of the tribe, Wang Hai, was skilled in trade, and the tribe gradually prospered and grew stronger. After several generations of accumulation, the Shang tribe established the second dynasty in Chinese history, the Shang Dynasty. The deeds of Wang Hai were engraved on oracle bones and passed down to later generations. The Chinese people believe that Wang Hai pioneered commercial trade, so he is revered as the "ancestor of merchants". Many Chinese characters related to trade activities are also named with the Chinese character of "shang", such as commerce (shangye), commodity (shangpin), and merchant (shangren). Therefore, Shangqiu is considered the birthplace of the ancestor of merchants, the Shang tribe, the Shang Dynasty, merchants, commodities, commerce, and merchant culture, attracting many Chinese people to hold festivals and pay homage here. This year marks the ninth edition.
Today, Shangqiu has developed transportation and is one of the few cities in China that serves as a comprehensive transportation hub for both high-speed and conventional railways, as well as a node city in the "Eight Verticals and Eight Horizontals" high-speed railway network. Shangqiu currently has three hundred-billion level industrial clusters in equipment manufacturing, textile and apparel manufacturing, and food production, as well as eleven ten-billion level industrial clusters in refrigeration, measuring tools, and superhard materials. The city is vigorously developing emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, new materials, electronic information, and biomedicine, and is also planning for multiple future industries including life and health, carbon-based new materials, hydrogen energy and storage, brain-inspired intelligence, and metaverse. Shangqiu is committed to creating a first-class business environment, constructing a gateway and hub for opening up to the outside world, and building an important center for international land ports and the Belt and Road Initiative. The city keeps upholding and promoting the tradition of respecting, valuing, and supporting businesses.
Source: Organizing Committee of the 9th China Shangqiu International Chinese Merchants Festival