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China's small exporters weakened by strong yuan and surging costs

Economic recovery comes at steep price for most vulnerable businesses

Samples of made-to-order sports team apparel at Zhang Yan's company in Tianjin: Zhang says orders fell at least 50% on the year for December. (Photo by Iori Kawate)

TIANJIN, China -- An army of forklifts races to bring in pallet after pallet of medical supplies at a warehouse at Tianjin Binhai International Airport, roughly a half-hour drive from the heart of its namesake city. The heavily wrapped packages, containing masks and other materiel for the war on COVID-19, await shipment abroad.

But all this bustle does not necessary mean raking in profits.

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