Foreign food promoted online during CIIE

Yang Jian
Thousands of food products from across the world will be introduced to the Chinese market through a series of livestream events during the 3rd China International Import Expo.
Yang Jian
Foreign food promoted online during CIIE
Ti Gong

Officials from consulates, chambers of commerce and companies launch the livestream program for foreign food products during the CIIE on Thursday.

Food products from around the world will be promoted online through a series of livestream events during the 3rd China International Import Expo.

Some 20 foreign food companies will present items including dairy products, wine, honey, cooking oil, oatmeal and snacks to the Chinese market in dozens of webcasts between November 5 and 10.

The online broadcasts hosted by celebrities will target both Chinese companies and customers. They will be mainly held on Efoodline, a new cross-border e-commerce platform launched in neighboring Anhui Province for the CIIE as well as popular livestream platforms such as TikTok, Tmall and Kuaishou.

A dairy products livestream session will be held in the New Zealand Pavilion at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, the CIIE venue, on November 10, said Xia Yang, chairman of the Anhui Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export. Other webcasts will be held in Shanghai, south Guangdong, neighboring Zhejiang and Anhui as well as New Zealand, Xia told a press conference on Thursday.

“The total sales of the livestream events are expected to reach 200 million yuan (US$30.2 million),” Xia said.

The webcast events will become an essential supplement to the CIIE this year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to organizers.

As part of COVID-19 prevention measures, no frozen or fresh food is allowed to be sold in the CIIE’s exhibition zone and tasting of uncooked food is forbidden.

Foreign food promoted online during CIIE
Ti Gong

A group of celebrities who will be livestream hosts.

Food imports rising

China imported food products from 189 countries and regions in 2019 with total imports worth US$90.8 billion, a 23.4 percent increase year on year, said Yu Lu, deputy chairwoman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Expo of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products.

“Despite COVID-19, China’s food imports are expected to increase by double digits to reach US$160 billion in 2020,” Yu said.

The CIIE has brought specialties from more countries to Chinese consumers and cheap imported fruit and food products have become essentials for Chinese customers, Yu said.

As the pandemic is driving the livestream sector, the imported food business should also embrace the new trend, she said. The chamber has established an e-commerce platform that has gathered some 1,800 companies with products including snacks, wines, dairy items and cooking oil.

Andrei Andreev, consul general of Belarus in Shanghai, said the consulate will encourage Belarusian companies to take part in the livestream events to promote the country’s agricultural products to China.

“The CIIE has showcased China’s determination to further open up and is expected to drive the global economic recovery amid the pandemic,” Andreev said.

John V Rwehumbiza, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tanzania in China, said the livestream platforms will play a key role in bringing foreign food to the Chinese market.

Foreign food promoted online during CIIE
Ti Gong

The QR code of the Efoodline livestream platform

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