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(From Guardian Unlimited)
The dislocated head of a baby doll stares blindly through the gate; WALL-E and Barbie Pet Doctor boxes are strewn across the yard.
Two weeks ago, toymaking giant Smart Union was churning out goods for children across the United States and Europe. Now it is in liquidation and 7,000 former employees are in shock.
"One day we went to work as usual, the next it was all closed," said Wei Sunying, gazing through the barred gate of the factory in Dongguan in southern China where she spent eight years painting plastic components in a fume-filled room.
"Thousands of us are looking for jobs now. We walk around every day till our feet ache but we can't find anything."
Few in the west have heard of Dongguan, but the chances are that your shoes, your TV or your children's toys originated here. Exports have built a city of up to 14 million inhabitants twice the population of Greater London almost all migrant workers from the countryside. Its economy has grown 15% annually in recent years.
Now the global financial and economic crisis is proving the final straw for exporters already punished by rising costs and a stronger currency.
In the last year, chill winds have blown through …