Visitors examine kitchenware products at the exhibition booth of Japanese home appliances manufacturer Rinnai on Thursday. （Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/China Daily）
It seems that November is no longer just the time of an annual shopping carnival for ordinary Chinese consumers with generous budgets for various online platforms, but also the ideal time for companies to make their annual purchase plans during the China International Import Expo.
This is especially true for the buyers' group from Shanghai, as it has formed four alliances in June to facilitate the communication between buyers and exhibitors to come up with better trade results.
Statistics provided by Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce showed that the total amount of the intended purchases will top over 4 billion yuan ($576 million).
You Yongsheng, director of the secretary office for the Shanghai buyers' group, said that local companies have shown greater demand for smart equipment, medical devices, food and agriculture products. The group also includes buyers that have large infrastructure projects or technology advancement plans.
Altogether, the four alliances led by industry leaders, which cover cross-border import e-commerce, large retailers, comprehensive trade services and exhibition services, send a total of 18 buyer teams to the expo.
Among them is a delegation led by Tmall Global, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba's dedicated channel for cross-border business. As one important member of the cross-border import e-commerce alliance, Tmall Global has built a digital exhibition hall via cloud technology to assist the delegation made up of more than 700 people from 400 companies to the CIIE. The digital exhibition hall has allowed exhibitors and buyers to get some idea of the halls and make plans accordingly before the show.
Wang Haoyang, head of the government relations of import and export business at Tmall Global, said that they have witnessed the rising demand of Chinese consumers and overseas companies' increased awareness of China's huge potential. Therefore, the platform's annual import transaction volume has sustained a three-digit growth over the past four years.
"As China has been undergoing an upgrade in consumption, a number of favorable import policies have been introduced to facilitate the ongoing supply-side structural reform," he said.
The local leading retailer Bailian Group has initiated to form the retailer alliance, bringing together both the domestic and overseas companies to build the offline distribution channels.
Pu Jingbo, vice-president of Bailian Group, said that companies will enjoy more benefits by forming a purchase group than buying on their own. If they can team up with companies from outside Shanghai, they will be able to distribute their products all over the world.
As a key participant of the large retailer group, Shanghai conglomerate Greenland Group launched in late July a global commodity trade hub to the south of the exhibition halls, which also serves as the 365-day trade service platform for the CIIE.
Covering over 400,000 square meters, the trade hub will combine the functions of goods trade, corporate headquarters, smart logistics and an online trade platform with an estimated annual transaction volume worth over 100 billion yuan.
As the leading food retailer in Shanghai, Bright Food Group is hosting an import food festival at the First Food department store in northeast Shanghai. The festival, which serves as an important extension of the expo and will end on Saturday, shows and sells more than 200 products exhibited at the CIIE. The group's retail subsidiary, NGS supermarket, becomes an important buyer of agriculture products, dairy products, wine, pastry and seasoning products presented at the expo. The supermarket has more than 2,000 stores in Shanghai.
Suning, one major platform of the home appliances in China, has assisted seven buyers to the CIIE, eyeing on products from more than 40 brands. Xu Hailan, executive vice-president of Suning's East China district, said that the CIIE will better bridge the Chinese consumers and the global markets, bringing more import offerings to the local market.