The coronavirus epidemic has shaken international trade and greatly influenced the methods of establishing cooperation with China. Chinese trade fairs, which bring together importers from around the world every year, since 2020 have been continuously canceled or postponed. Some of them moved online to face the new reality. What will the fairs in China be like in 2022? Will there be the possibility to attend such events offline?
Trade shows in China are an excellent way to find a business partner. That is why they are extremely popular. They allow direct and face-to-face contact with suppliers, verifying the quality of their products on the spot and negotiating. The year 2021 was a promising one for Chinese trade shows. They began to return to their usual ways. Many of these events took place in enclosures, following the strict rules of the sanitary regime. Meanwhile, the minority of them were canceled or postponed for security reasons, for example, Consumer Electronics China (CE) China or Asia-Pacific Outdoor Show. Some fairs had an online or hybrid form, connecting the internet and offline spheres. Despite the obstacles created by the coronavirus, some technological measures used by Chinese trade fair organizers have been developed.
How are trade fairs in China today?
The Generalized Canton Fair, which in 2020 and spring 2021 was organized online, during the next edition will take place at its headquarters in Canton. However, the success of the online version of the event made its organizers decide to connect both forms, online and offline. During all three editions of Canton Fair Online, participants were able to view live product presentations and search for deals from all industries without the need to plan a trip to China.
Another event that will take a hybrid form is a trade fair created with foreign exporters who want to appear in the Chinese market in mind – CIIE. The China International Import Expo will be organized in Shanghai. During this fair, participants will also have the opportunity to use some technologically developed functions. With virtual reality technologies and 3D modeling, the official CIIE website will allow you to become familiar with the exporter’s activities. More than 500 countries will present their offers in virtual pavilions created in this way.
The following example are trade shows organized by HKTDC (Hong Kong Business Development Council). In 2020, HKTDC Fall Sourcing Week took place. During this event, participants were able to search for articles from all industries and participate in online webinars. They also had access to a Click2Match feature, which simplified contact with suppliers. The upcoming HKTDC trade shows will take place in a variety of ways. For example, HKTDC Watch & Clock Fair was organized both online and offline. Another event: Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2021 will also be held in a venue and its version of the Internet.
Keep in mind that even though trade fairs return to Chinese locations, they are still not accessible to foreign visitors. Since 2020, China has maintained strict restrictions on entering the country. Those authorized to arrive must undergo a 14-21-day quarantine. The limits also include accommodating foreigners in hotels and traveling in China.
Fairs in China 2022
After such a long time, it could be expected that trade fairs in China will soon be accessible to international entrepreneurs as well. Unfortunately, foreign importers and exporters are likely to wait longer to participate in such events. According to predictions, the restrictions introduced by the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) will be in effect at least until the end of the first half of 2022.
Currently, China completely bans tourist travel. Only citizens and residents and those with valid visas have access to the country. However, additional measures regarding visa applications have been implemented. In this way, China wants to prevent the spread of the virus and the appearance of new variants.
Chinese trade fairs are likely not accessible to international importers for a long time. However, it is worth following the interesting US events and checking on their official websites if they will be available in the online form. The fairs in the Internet version allow us to know the offers of the Chinese sellers without the need to plan a trip to China. Thanks to this solution, foreign entrepreneurs can also participate in trade fairs and find a Chinese supplier.