Hong Kong Soars

A technology-led strategy has recast the city as an indispensable hub of global supply

Mike Clarke / AFP / Getty

The Hong Kong skyline

Seated in a nondescript office in Hong Kong, 1,500 workers are turning the wheels of the global economy. Without leaving their desks, these merchandisers at Hong Kong--based trading outfit Li & Fung connect the far-flung dots of today's international manufacturing system. They make sure that Victoria's Secret gets its bras, American Eagle Outfitters its T shirts and Disney its stuffed Winnie the Poohs. One moment, workers in Hong Kong are haggling with fabricmakers for the best price of denim, and the next, they're ensuring that a shipment of teddy bears gets to U.S. stores on time or searching for the right factories...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!