A key aspect to consider is that in China, there is no three-tier system. To enter the China market, it's likely that an export director started with meeting a Chinese person/company called an "importer". That importer can import and sell wines to anybody in China - to wholesalers, to distributors, to retailers and direct to consumers. As an export director, it's necessary to identify the business nature, the business structure and the potential of the Chinese importer that help sell and promote your products.
Regarding the potential of the market, it’s of course complicated because China is big and diverse. In MW essays, it’s important to use reliable information and data to back up the arguments, and also put some analysis and original thoughts. For example, when they say Australian wines are performing extremely well in the Chinese market nowadays, maybe it’s worth to consider what kind of Australian wines are doing well? Which Australian brands performed well? Where (in which cities/provinces) do they sell Australian wines that well in such a big country? Do people actually consume the wines for sensory pleasure, or do many people still buy most Australian wines for gifting purposes (maybe relevant to the 2019 question)?
Now it's 93% tax on American wines to mainland China. But will it slow down the importation of ultra-premium American wines to China?
Thank you Gus Zhu MW! Can either you or Sarah Bray explain Chinese gifting culture and its recent changes? Is there a way to statistically separate wines purchased as gifts and those purchased for consumption? In other words, is this tracked in any way?
Hi Kelli! Unfortunately, there is no data on this. China works differently. Even if you get some data in the wine trade, some of them are not very reliable. It's more about understanding the culture (see the movie Red Obsession, also, the recently Obama sponsored movie American factory can give people some ideas on the Chinese working culture). Since it's so complicated, I would actually avoid answering China related topics in the exam, even if I'm a native Chinese... Either I cannot give enough data and examples, or I may write too much on certain aspects and lose the focus and structure.
Great point. I passed over this question immediately in the exam as it is hyper specific and you must be on point with reliable data. From a candidate position these are dangerous questions. I do love the idea (and greatly appreciate the access created here) to add to global examples from the Chinese market perspective. They will show insight and relevancy. Great stuff!
Same. I was like, um, yeah... no. I wouldn't be surprised to see that most students didn't choose this question when the examiner's report comes out. It seems impossible to answer with just anecdotal information rather than hard data and figures, marketing case studies, etc. and yet, other than the excellent Wine Australia export reports, there doesn't seem to be much out there. And so many of the numbers and stats conflict. It's hard to know what's correct.
That being said, the USDA's GAIN reports often have some useful information too. This is a very good recent report on Chinese wine production that wine tourism that has some good background into on the growing wine culture in general: