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Retailers & Distributors Fail To Take To Virtual Trade Shows As Manufacturing In China Slumps 8%

Australian CE and appliance retailer along with distributors, have not taken to the new trade show modis operandi of running virtual demonstrations.

This has resulted in a big problem for Chinese manufacturers.

China’s attempt to shift the Canton Fair the world’s largest trade show online has fallen flat with manufacturers reporting an 8% fall in orders due to COVID-19 with this tipped to rise as consumers stop buying goods from Chinese manufacturers and retailers and distributors look for new suppliers in Countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.The Hong Kong Fair and the Canton Fair, usually held in the southern megacity of Guangzhou twice a year has been cancelled, these are shows where distributors negotiated details on goods bound for the likes of Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys.The solution was a virtual ‘meet’ global buyers initiative.

This took place through a virtual architecture built by Tencent Holdings Ltd featuring live streaming, translation and conferencing technology, the only problem was that buyers from Australia failed to sign into the initiative.

Many of the exhibitors interviewed by Bloomberg News over the past week, catching — and holding — the attention of browsing visitors online is much more difficult than in a physical setting.

Communicating and following-up on leads afterwards was also trickier in the virtual system.“The online format definitely can’t replace the real fair for now, and I can’t see it happening even in one or two years,” said Yvonne Xu, a sales manager of Hangzhou Sinosky Industrial Ltd., a manufacturer of apparel and fashion accessories.

Xu’s company trained their salespeople in the weeks running up to the fair in order to be familiar with live video merchandising techniques.

They also hired foreign models to make hundreds of photos for the online catalogue

But the enormous hits they had expected from clients didn’t materialize.

Both Tencent and the Canton Fair organizers declined to comment on the feedback about the interface.

The live-streaming platform was built from scratch within two months. And the event was free of charge as the government was eager to support the export sector. Some smaller firms also did better than they expected.

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