As Christmas approaches, Yihaodian, a leading Chinese online grocery outlet specializing in imported food, has launched a world food carnival in downtown Beijing in partnership with four embassies. The festive carnival enables local citizens to sample a diverse range of food from a number of countries free of charge.
David Dukes, Trade Commissioner with the Australian Embassy in China, attended the event's opening ceremony, where he shared details of the long history of trade and cultural exchange between China and Australia.
"Another very interesting fact that I'm sure a lot of your listeners are not so aware of is that there are four famous department stores in Shanghai that have a history dating back to the early 20th century. These department stores were actually all started by Australian Chinese; all of them, and brands like Yong'an No 1 department store, were all started by the Australian Chinese."
Processed food exports from Australia to China have doubled in value in the past five years from 794 million dollars to over 1,500 billion.
With a population of over 1.3 billion, China is currently Asia's second largest food and beverage market by value after Japan.
As international businesses seek to make their commodities available in China's growing online retail market, China's food e-commerce industry presents a range of opportunities.
Dukes explains why the Australian government has chosen Yihaodian as a platform for promoting Australian food and beverages online.
"Yihaodian is fast-growing, among similar companies in China. They've very used to dealing with imported food and beverage products, and consumer products. So that's very important for us."
According to Dukes, Australia is looking for opportunities to expand in China's e-commerce market, and is seeking to offer a variety of consumer products besides food on the Yihaodian platform, to meet China's growing appetite for high-quality, imported products.
"There are a lot of Australian consumer products. Some examples are cosmetics and skin protection products. The Chinese consumers may know when they buy Australian products they can rely on the quality and safety of the products."
Meanwhile, representatives from the American, British and Spanish embassies also attended the festival's launch event, designed by Yihaodian. The delegates expressed their pleasure at seeing attendees being able to enjoy food from their respective countries in Beijing, noting that this e-commerce platform will help consumers access "made-in-other nation" products more easily in the future.
For CRI, I'm XYee.