How to Market Imported Beer in China

The Chinese are showing more and more interest in foreign products in the last few years. And imported beer is definitely not an exception to this phenomenon. The population of China is turning into a younger and wealthier generation. The new generations of Chinese consumers follow a different purpose in life and don’t mind spending a lot of cash on their way. It’s definitely not easy to enter the Chinese beer market, and there are many obstacles concerning the exporting/importing process.

China’s imported beer market

Imported beer

It will without a doubt challenge you, but it will be worth it. China’s beer market offers many chances for your beer. Here your beer brand has the potential to grow significantly and could be a success in a different continent. Do you also want a taste of success, but you don’t know where to start? This article will provide you with the necessary information about the Chinese beer market and will overflow you with tips.

It’s no secret that every year the number of Chinese consumers is growing. They also purchase more than they did ever before. On what are spending it? The new generation in China wants to live life to the limit. Therefore, they don’t mind spending their money on luxury products, traveling, or a good glass of imported beer. China drinks 25% of the total beer market. Chinese consumers and especially the younger generation have grown a thirst for foreign beers.

In a city like Shanghai, you have shops where you can find imported beer brands. Probably the most famous one is Beer Lady, which offer a huge assortment of beers. And also, you can find a lot of Apps such as where you can get free beer.

You can not only find imported beers in these specific shops. Thanks to the growing demand for foreign beers, there are now more places where you can purchase them. Today, you can for sure find some Belgium of German beers in a 7-eleven or in a supermarket.

Imported beer vs domestic beer

Beer Lady Shanghai

Why do Chinese consumers prefer imported beers? The trend shift shows us that, when a person is able to buy a foreign beer, it shows that they are more successful. They have a better life because they have enough money to buy an imported beer brand. It’s definitely a status thing.

Chinese have also less trust in the quality of their domestic beer brands. It’s mainly due to their bad reputation. Some food and beverage brands have been accused of allegedly selling products that are harmful to public health. Moreover, fake alcohol is a real thing in China.

That’s why Chinese consumers prefer purchasing imported beer brands. They have in general a better reputation and Chinese consumers are convinced that the quality is better compared to the domestic beer brands.

In which city should I sell imported beer?


We recommend you sell your beer in a large city because here you find the biggest demand for your imported beer. And especially Shanghai’s citizens have shown a huge appreciation the alcoholic drink.

If you are a small/starting brand or you have a beer like Duvel that has higher pricing, we definitely recommend you target a big city. Here people are more open-minded to trying new beer brands and are wealthier, which means they are able to spend more on a night out.

Smaller cities are also showing more interest in foreign beers and can be a great place to market your beer brand. However, we need to mention that there are many risks. The chance that your brands will not be successful is definitely higher than in large cities.

Besides, it’s generally easier to import your beer brand into large cities, as there are many shipments coming in and out every day.

Best ways to market your Beer in China

Online vs Offline

Another choice that you have to make, is deciding whether you want to take your imported beer brand to the online market. You can for sure stay choose for an offline strategy and promote only your imported beer in local shops. This has its advantages, but there is a chance that your brand will fail due to Chinese consumers will maybe not notice it.

Therefore, an online approach has definitely more benefits for your imported beer if you want to sell in China. In order of taking your brand online, it is needed to make a website for your beer brand that is accessible in China.

You also have to get aware of Chinese culture, for instance, Chinese consumers buy 30% of their purchases on online platforms. Next, they like to see your product as much as they can. They love to see pictures and videos.

Don’t forget if you are taking your company online, you have to maintain a good e-reputation. Chinese consumers are very sensitive and do not cope well with a brand that has a bad e-reputation. They will simply buy another brand if your beer has e bad e-reputation.

Social media and WeChat

Today, being active on social media is a must for a brand, and your imported beer brand is not an exception to this. It can be a great tool for creating more brand awareness and as a marketing tool for promoting your imported beer.

It’s a fact that Chinese consumers are highly dependent on their smartphones. They do almost everything on the internet because it’s so convenient. We can say that WeChat is the biggest social network of China. Here your imported beer has the potential to reach a lot of beer lovers and become very popular.


Tmall logo

Is it normal to sell your foreign beer online? We can definitely say that this is a real thing in China. As mentioned earlier, today, Chinese consumers buy almost everything online. And why not? It takes less time than shopping in a regular store and your goods will be delivered to your doorstep.

You can sell your beer online through an online Chinese supermarket. But you can also choose to collaborate with huge e-commerce platforms such as or Tmall.

You can also read our Strategic Guide to Export Food Brands in China

Kols or Influencers

An important thing that you must take into account is that Chinese consumers are really affected of the opinions of others. They idolize KOL, these people could be actors, singers or online celebrities. You can influence beer lovers using these people as intermediaries, through them you are able to reach your target group. In other words, intermediaries can be a great asset in selling your imported beer to Chinese consumers.

Despite not being an easy tool to control, it’s definitely one of the most useful ones out there. It is all psychological, but it hit its mark when it’s used the right way. Chinese consumers are influenced when their idol recommends or favors their foreign beer. By doing this your target audience will convince very fast and will eventually buy your imported beer.

Don’t forget to protect your Reputation

Imported beer

Reputation represents a lot for many people, in China too. You have to do everything to always have a good image for Chinese customers. if you lose your reputation, you will lose everything. Make sure that you get good comments about your brand because the Chinese trust brand has good comments and recommendations from friends or family. Don’t hesitate to engage a digital marketing agency that can help you to keep a good image and erase all bad comments about your brand.

Imported beers are getting increasingly popular in China. In particular, the younger generation has shown an appreciation of alcoholic drinks. In addition, the population of China is becoming wealthier.

If you take everything into consideration, the Chinese beer market could be the opportunity of a lifetime for your imported beer brand. Today, you could be a small beer company, but tomorrow you could have many fans in China and be a real threat to the other competitors.

On your journey, you have to make difficult decisions, that could have a significant impact in the long term. Therefore, it’s needed that you take the right ones. Only then your imported beer brand will be successful.

Need an expert that can help you? Contact Gentlemen Marketing Agency. We are a marketing specialist based in China, that can help you with your journey in selling your foreign beer to Chinese consumers. Feel free to contact our website.

Read Also:


  • Name *aLEX

    Dear Sirs, we want to offer bear, drinking and mineral water on the market of China,
    water from Russia, delivery is possible from Primorsky region( * Vladivostok) and from the island Sakhalin,
    we will be glad to have joint cooperation with your reputable company and we ask to report that it is necessary for entry into the market of China.

  • Name *Alex


  • Johny Wang

    China is the largest beer market in the world, and we are searching for imported western beer from Germany, England, Belgium, USA.
    We would like to have beer founded in Supermarket, with good popularity in China for our online Stores, and our retail New Stores.
    Contact us for more information about us.

  • maximilien

    Great article about Beer in China,

Leave your comment