Wine fairs in China and alternatives to find distributors

Wine fairs in China

In recent years the ever-growing demand for imported drinks in both mainland China and Hong Kong has seen the region become one of the world’s top consumers of wine and spirits. In fact, China is on course to officially become the world’s second-largest wine consumer by 2020 with imports estimated to be worth a staggering $21.7billion.

According to Decanter China exhibitions and fairs pose great real-life examinations for producers. They get to meet distributors or even consumers face-to-face, and build a harmonious relationship with their clients, and keep in touch with their regular clients. This is also the best opportunity to reach out to potential clients, get to know more people in the trade, especially those powerful buyers.

Exhibitions can also be the place to collect market information, good research about competitors and successful companies can lead to new marketing ideas. Certainly, exhibitions are also the best time for new product announcements and branding events, so as to raise brand awareness.

Thanks to Wine Fairs companies can :

  • Use this event as a forum to deepen existing relationships and establish new networks
  • Find in depth and comprehensive information about the latest developments, trends, products and services on the wine industry
  • Use the fair to show their products to an interested audience, and so to find new customers
  • Show their products on the market and increase brand awareness

However, due to the covid-19 the situation has changed and many fairs and exhibitions have been postponed, therefore what are the alternatives to find distributors?

The next most important Wine Fairs in China in 2020

According to the Tradefairdates website, the next Wine Fairs appointments in China from July to November 2020 are:

  • CIHIE – China International Health (24-26 July 2020)

The CIHIE – China International Health Industry Expo is an event mainly dealing with the topics wellness, beauty, sport, health care and dietary supplements. The event will be held alternately in Shanghai and Beijing. It is an optimum presentation platform for more than 900 exhibitors from over 36 countries and regions to show their latest products and services and to do networking activities. Visitors attending the show, such as distributers, agents and suppliers involved in the relevant industries, also have the possibility to participate in various internal competitions. Other highlights of the event are a world health industry conference as well as a series of forums and seminars.

  • Hosfair (17-19 September 2020)

Hosfair Xi’an shows the new trends for the hospitality industry. It is an important platform for commercial contacts and negotiations and for professional exchange of business information. It offers a wide range of products, a high visitors turnout and many different visitors profiles. It will be your ideal place to present or find commercial kitchen and catering equipment, hotel furniture, tableware, hotel linen, clean and laundry equipment and supplies, lobby and guestroom articles, as well as wines, coffee, and food.

  • Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (05-07 November 2020)

Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair offers the opportunity for exhibitors of wine, spirits and beer to gauge Asian tastes as well as to test consumer reactions to new products. Visitors can source new products, find new suppliers and take in the latest market trends. The fair also provides a trading platform for related products. These include premium food products such as cheese, ham, olives, nuts, bread, caviar, biscuits and chocolates, as well as glassware and other accessories associated with fine living.

  • Interwine China (09-11 November 2020)

The Interwine China is an international trade fair for international but also exclusive wines and spirits. Because of the mixed structure of visitors this exhibition is an interesting platform companies and their products in the Asian market at present.

  • ProWine China (10-12 November 2020)

The ProWine China is an international trade fair for wines and spirits, which takes place every two years in Shanghai. It is an offshoot of ProWine in Dusseldorf and is exclusively open to trade visitors from the retail, wholesale and foreign trade, gastronomy, hotel and manufacturing industry. The aim of the fair is to position international wineries, distributors and manufacturers at the dynamic wine market in China. The ProWine China is creating a platform for international distributors and producers but also for local suppliers to offer the entire repertoire of the wine industry, to set new highlights and to develop innovative trends. It has firmly established itself at the market and now plays a key role in the Chinese wine trade. The focus of the exhibition is on quality, quantity and variety.

Use Lead Generation to attract potential distributors

Why is Lead Generation important in China?

In China Lead generation can offer a huge competitive advantage to companies that understand how to include it within their marketing strategy. Lead Generation is the set of marketing actions that aim to acquire and generate interested contacts.

Currently, online communication has taken on an impressive dominance and it is today one of the most powerful means of lead generation and conversion. From content marketing to social media, there are numerous lead generation methods that will help you obtain the right leads.

How a brand in the Wine industry can acquire potential distributors in China?

To obtain the desired results from lead generation campaigns, it is necessary to use the most useful tools. In the digital world we are talking about SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Recommendations.


When Chinese distributors want to find a new product to spread over the country and earn money on that, they go and search on Baidu. They have to find you there and get redirected to your website to see who you are.

Baidu is the search engine on which to aim to make yourself visible in the Chinese market. That’s why a Baidu SEO & SEM strategy should be adopted to acquire potential distributors.

Here there are a some digital marketing tips you have to follow when constructing your website for Chinese wine distributors :

  • The site and all the content you want to publish should be in Mandarin Chinese because Baidu gives greater visibility to sites that are written in Mandarin Chinese
  • To ensure fast loading it must be hosted in China
  • Baidu is an integrated part of the communication control system applied by the Chinese government. Therefore if your site contains content that does not comply with the Chinese government’s censorship, or if there are also only links that link to sites that publish unappreciated content, Baidu will immediately block activity on your site.
  • The website must also be adaptable to mobile phones
  • Use the Baidu platform in all its forms because Baidu clearly rewards those who use the platform in all its forms, from Baike (Baidu wikipedia), to Baidu Zhidao (Q&A website), to its social network Baidu Tieba (keyword-based discussion forum), Baidu Shopping or Baidu video platforms.
  • Combine SEO & SEM : To achieve success in Baidu marketing campaigns, it is very effective to create a strategy that combines SEO and SEM, as both have a very significant weight in the visibility results attributed by the algorithm of the platform. Through SEM it is possible to sponsor sites with targeted campaigns. In this way, your brand’s site will get a better online reputation, an increase in visitors and of course a higher market return.

Localized Content

Communicating with the Chinese implies several considerations. One of these is cultural distance, which forces brands to rethink their content by aligning it with local ways of thinking.

Content marketing is important when trying to attract Chinese partners, as by getting closer to Chinese culture and their tastes you can show the brand value and increase the interest from potential partners.

For example a foreign brand should know that in China the main consumers of wine are the younger urban population.

Despite the lower prices of several very popular Chinese wine brands such as Changyu and Great Wall, most wine consumers still prefer foreign brands, particularly French and Australian, and are becoming increasingly selective.

Sophisticated drinkers, mostly in first-tier cities are happy to pay premium prices for quality wines as education and awareness helps drive up the demand for high-end drinks.

In addition, they usually prefer red wine because is often considered as healthy, especially one with a lower alcohol content.

Social media marketing

Using social networks as part of a digital marketing strategy is always an excellent idea to attract and engage the chosen target, to build relationships with followers, to generate leads, to retain customers and to maximize conversions. This applies indiscriminately to B2B and B2C companies.

WeChat and Weibo are the most popular Chinese social platforms, therefore if a western company from the wine industry want to have access to the Chinese wine audience, it should open an official accounts on these platforms.

The company might use these platforms for newsletters, promotions, later even for opening a store on WeChat maybe.

Though social media networks like wine brands and products can be effectively promoted and marketed in China.

In China awareness and education about the wine brand are important. For example, Weibo has attracted considerable interest from the western wine industry.

H5 Wechat Brochure

A company can also have a WeChat e-brochure to introduce itself effectively. It is an electronic brochure that is easy to share on Wechat. It contains the listing of products (in Chinese).


Word of mouth

In China recommendations mostly come from locals because Chinese people mostly trust Chinese people. Word of mouth in China is the key, that’s why it is important the presence on Chinese forums and to do PR.

Reviews on forums

Opinions shared on forums have a big influence on the decisions that a Chinese person makes. They can spend hours and days checking the forums to decide who is good to cooperate with.

There are many designated forums in China and all of them are Chinese forums in Mandarin language. The most useful forums are Zhihu and Baidu Zhidao.

Public Relations

PR is one of the most cost-effective solution in the Chinese market. It is a basic of marketing where the right people talk about you.

In China E-reputation is key to success and PR is useful on increasing credibility within the wine industry and increasing reputation.

This is often done through KOLs connections and Chinese wine magazines.


KOLs marketing is increasingly utilized by foreign wine brands since they promote effectively the act of drinking wines as something not only sophisticated and trendy but very healthy.

For example, Wine Australia scored great success with Chinese social media stars to showcase Australian wines to Chinese consumers.

Wine magazines like DecanterChina is a bi-lingual (English and Simplified Chinese) website presented by the international wine authority, Decanter magazine, dedicated to the ever-growing audience of wine lovers in China.

The latest upgrade of, which was originally launched in 2012, sees a more reader-friendly, mobile optimized version of the site.

Among DecanterChina’s many new features are: a brand new region index, a more comprehensive wine knowledge section, as well as weekly wine reviews specifically tailored to the needs of the Chinese consumers.


Distributors are a good option if they are capable of importing wine products. Like that they can facilitate the process for you as you have to undergo a lot of examinations and government checks.

In addition, you have to care about:

  • Tariffs
  • Education and language skill levels vary widely in different areas of the Chinese market.
  • Many products currently on the market have similar prices and brand loyalty is weak.

For these reasons, many wineries work with distributors. Distributors are locals. They are trusted, they normally exist for a long time on the market, they are dealing with wholesalers, they have the right channels to sell your food.

Therefore the question of how to get into the Chinese market becomes one of where to find distributors, how to choose the right one, and how to work with them.

Through what options can the company find potential distributors?

Searching Online

You can search for distributors online, but this can be a challenge. There are currently more than 85,000 distributors in China, so contact random distributors one by one can take a long time with a low success rate.

In addition, state-owned companies and big distributors have exclusivity contracts with many traditional distribution channels, especially the big supermarkets.

Don’t forget, you’ll increase the risk of coming across unreliable distributors, which is less likely if you find distributors that your partner has worked with previously.

Tmall B2D

Tmall B2D is a platform where you can connect with 85,000 Chinese distributors. Tmall B2D gives brands great visibility on the current market. It helps to:

  • connect brands and 85000 distributors
  • manage service and logistics
  • manage distributor
  • conduct secure payments

Any entrepreneur can choose his distributor on the Tmall app. However, it is not easy to choose the right distributor for you when one has no expertise of distributors in China and is not in China.

In addition the platform is in Chinese, therefore it is better to be accompanied by professionals in this first step.

GMA could be your B2D partner

Finding the right distributor for the size of your company, your products and your target clientele is not an easy task.

Fortunately, Gentlemen marketing agency is very familiar with the Chinese e-commerce market and its players. Local distributors have no secrets for us. Our expertise allows us to support you in your search for the best distributor, we can take care of the entire process for your company.

gma agency

Do you want to know more about How to use digital marketing to increase your success in China? Contact GMA a digital marketing agency, specialized in Chinese digital market.

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