What Happened: On July 26, the second China International Consumer Expo opened in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province. Luxury groups like Richemont and Burberry, alongside beauty conglomerates including L’Oréal, Estée Lauder, and Coty, showcased their commitment to the area’s duty-free market. Brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Tumi were also present. Wine and spirits labels, too. All in all, an excellent turnout.
This edition marked the debut of leading wine brand Penfolds, which created a space-themed exhibition with China-exclusive launches. This included a 177th-anniversary Tribute wine series and a limited-edition record player console with space for two special magnums.
The Jing Take: Following the success of the inaugural Expo in 2021, this year’s five-day event is back with a host of immersive displays, exhibitions, and diversified visitor experiences.
Initiated by the Ministry of Commerce of the PRC and local government, the Expo facilitates business opportunities for domestic and international companies. It also offers organizations a better understanding of Hainan’s Free Trade Port policy, officially released in 2020, to help them best benefit from investment in the province.
The expo, a first-of-its-kind trade show focusing on premium consumer goods at the national level, was due to be held in April but had been postponed until now given the country’s COVID-19 surge in the second quarter. As such, the local government and exhibitors have been preparing for the event for months, attested to by the lavish displays on offer. Some pushed the boat out further by highlighting advanced digital and sustainability-based initiatives.
During the event, the local government released $14.8 million (100 million RMB) coupons for duty-free and duty-paid businesses to stimulate consumption — also a good showcase for its willingness to support (to the benefit of any international names who might be eyeing the travel retail sector in the region). Indeed, with favorable policies from the central and local governments, as well as the recently lifted domestic travel restrictions, expect more luxury houses to begin doubling down there.
As Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at the opening ceremony, “successfully holding the Hainan expo will provide an important boost for the continued recovery of consumption.” Despite the impact of COVID-19 this year, the mainland is sticking to the strategy of expanding domestic demand, which empowers international companies to uphold their confidence in the Chinese market.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.