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Canton Fair launches e-commerce service for exporters

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-16 07:58

Organizers of nation's largest trade event expect more transactions

Organizers of the Canton Fair, China's largest twice-yearly trade event and a barometer of its exports, launched an electronic commerce service on Monday to improve trade efficiency.

Liu Jianjun, spokesman for the fair and deputy director of the China Foreign Trade Center, described the service as a big advance against limits previously imposed on the event by space and time.

"Based on the resources of more than 1 million overseas buyers, the e-commerce platform will better serve Chinese exporters in conducting year-round trade with global clients," Liu said.

"Along with China's efforts in upgrading its manufacturing industry, we are also developing the traditional transaction site at the fair into a more efficient e-commerce platform."

With diversified sales channels for Chinese exporters, Liu said he expects more transactions to be made after the trade fair.

"The e-commerce platform will help reduce trade costs, benefiting Chinese exporters," Liu said.

With increasing demands from emerging markets, including the Middle East, South America, Russia and Southeast Asia, China's foreign trade will continue to steadily increase this year, according to Liu.

It rose 13.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, with exports increasing 18.4 percent, sources with the customs authority said.

Wang Ruisheng, president of the China Foreign Trade Center (Group), said the fair's e-commerce platform,, will focus on building a creditable system for transactions.

The system will include a credit index for suppliers and buyers based on data sources from the government, banks, commerce associations and credit insurance organizations.

"We have also built a close relationship with import and export insurance organizations to protect the rights of Chinese exporters," Wang said at the opening ceremony for the e-commerce platform on Monday, on the sidelines of the 113th Canton Fair, or the China Import and Export Fair, in Guangzhou, the Guangdong provincial capital.

Canton Fair organizers also signed a series of cooperation agreements with financial organizations, including China Construction Bank, China Export and Credit Insurance Corp, UnionPay International and BOC Credit Card (International) Ltd, which will jointly provide online trade financing, loans and credit grading services for Chinese exporters.

Some Chinese exporters at the fair said they will use the e-commerce platform to increase their overseas sales.

"In the past, we relied on the Canton Fair to meet new clients and secure orders, but now it serves more as a platform to promote our brands and corporate culture," said Zhang Ye, deputy general manager of the international marketing department at Hisense Group.

"So, more transactions will be conducted after the fair, and we are very keen on using the fair's e-commerce platform to increase overseas orders," Zhang told China Daily.

The Qingdao-based consumer electronics company has been eyeing the overseas market for sustainable development since 2006, establishing 24 foreign branches and offices.

It ships its products to more than 130 countries and regions, with sales in the overseas market increasing 29.1 percent year-on-year to 12.6 billion yuan ($2.04 billion) in 2012, company sources said.

"We are making efforts to promote the brand in overseas high-end markets," Zhang said.

Zhang also said the overall demand for home appliances in overseas markets, particularly in Europe and the United States, will not increase this year.

"The only way for profit growth is to take a bigger share within a limited market. So we will make more efforts to diversify our sales overseas."

Zhao Wei, sales director of the overseas marketing center at TCL Lighting Electrical Appliances Co, said the company has also begun an e-commerce business to increase overseas sales.

Thanks to diversified sales channels, its overseas sales rose 15 percent year-on-year in the first quarter.

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