Digital edition allows buyers and sellers to easily collaborate
As the curtain has now fallen on the 127th China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, participants have reaped a fruitful harvest during the online trading event.
For exhibitors and buyers from around the world, the Canton Fair, which for the first time in its history moved entirely to the cloud, provided what buyers needed amid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting the global industry and supply chains and putting much pressure on China's foreign trade sector.
During the 10-day online fair, exhibitors have showcased their products around-the-clock, attracting an influx of inquiries and orders. All supplies were just a click away to buyers worldwide.
One of the exhibitors at the fair, Cai Chunlong, chairman of Shiyi Furniture based in Jiangxi province, livestreamed his company's products twice a day, attracting nearly 1,000 viewers. Of them, hundreds contacted him online for inquiry and more than 30 sent him letters of intent for purchase.
"It is rare for our company, which is located in a small city in an inland region, to get so much attention," Cai said.
In previous sessions of the Canton Fair, his company's products, mainly furniture and home interior design products, were not easy to be displayed in the limited exhibition space and they also faced difficulties in transportation.
Yet when the exhibition goes online at the 127th Canton Fair, the company livestreamed all of its products, plants and showrooms, attracting the attention from buyers worldwide.
"One of our former clients, with whom we had lost contact for years, came to us at the online fair," Cai said. The client is from Benin in Africa. The fair serves as a link to help them restore contact.
In addition to reconnecting with his old buddy, Cai made new friends at the fair. About 40 percent of the intent orders he has received during the event are from new clients.
Shuaike, a textile import and export company headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, drew an online audience of nearly 30,000 during its livestreams in less than 10 days. Of the viewers, more than 3,000 made inquiries and over 30 have expressed their interest in the company's products and are expected to contact for further details by email.
Behind the company's bustling business is a strong livestreaming team comprised of three members — a host, equipment adjuster and cameraman.
"Our displayed jackets made from polyurethane are dazzling with various design elements," said Chen Jing, a manager at the company. "We have higher requirements for our hosts, who need to be skilled at interaction with buyers."
A Chilean buyer said the pandemic has spread rapidly in his country since March.
His company could run on inventory but then ran out of supply. The Canton Fair is a "timely" event, where he has talked with many businesspeople and will place orders after further negotiations, he said.
Gao Wei, chairman of China Information & Culture Communication Kenya, said Kenyan companies are impressed at the Canton Fair's ability to go online after just two months of preparations.
More than 60 Kenyan buyers participated in the fair, seeking supplies of agricultural machines, chemicals, metal products and construction materials, Gao said.
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