BEIJING (UPI)-- Santa Claus has finally moved Rudolph and his aging band of Caucasian elves and reindeer from the North Pole to China, now known as the East Pole, in the process hiring thousands more Asian elves in the towns and villages of southern China.
Over 70% of the world's Christmas ornaments and other tacky Christian doodads are already being made on mainland China, thus the move was seen by Wall Street analysts as a good one for Santa Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, which has been increasingly outsourcing its workforce to the Far East for years.
Christmas tree bulbs, tinsel, miniature Santas, plastic mistletoe and artificial trees and most Christian icons of Jesus and angels are now being churned out at a frenetic pace . Thousands of exploited Chinese elves toil in factories under sweatshop conditions in the provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu.
According to the Chinese government, Guangdong exported more than $630 billion worth of Christmas products in 2004, and the entire country exported over $2 trillion.
Even the White House features Made in China Christmas trees and ornaments, and nearly three-quarters of the world's artificial Christmas trees are made in the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
The Chinese elves are an abundant source of cheap labor, lacking as they do the Western-style benefits of health insurance, pensions and social security. Over 80% of the 3,816,000 farmer elves in the surrounding countryside have left the land to become part of southern China's roaring export complex, and an estimated 4,000,000 migrant elves have come in from other provinces.
The East Pole now manufactures more than 600 billion Christmas and Christian decorations for export per year. There are over 45,000 large businesses and more than 40,000 processing workshops producing angels, trees and reindeer and glow in the dark replicas of Jesus.
Most of the Christmas product manufacturers have their own websites and are starting to diversify into other holidays, such as Easter and Halloween. Wages average $23 per month. Together with rising costs of raw materials like plastic, profit margins are being squeezed.
A 12 foot high artificial Christmas tree in Yiwu's Futian market is priced at $4. It cost 32 cents to make, yet it retails in a Wal-Mart in New York City for $89.
Chinese elves are increasingly designing their own products in diverse colors and styles, yet the overall competition between different Chinese provinces and with products from India has led to price wars and lowered wages overall.
The rampant Christmas and Christian manufacturing frenzy is also creating massive pollution, as well as energy and water shortages, and leading to tens of thousands sick and dying Chinese elves.
For the bulk of the enslaved Chinese elves in southern China's demonic factories, Santa Claus is an alien figure who might as well come from Mars.
One Chinese elf who requested anonymity and who has contracted tuberculosis said, "We don't celebrate Christmas here. Our workers are impoverished former farmers and housewives who don't know anything about it."