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?
I don't know if Gus Zhu MW would agree with this, but with some of the brands I work with, which are more niche than volume (16,000 cases v. 1 million), the price points are higher and thus a lot of our marketing work is for premium placements and from a retail perspective with gifting. I think the question helps with defining your scope here – a 1 million case brand is going to be massively volume-oriented and thus geared more toward consumption.
I totally agree with you Sarah. It's definitely a large volume handling that the question is about. But is it still not that straight-forward in China in terms of how they sell and how consumers perceive the mass volume brands. That's only one of the many things that make the Chinese market complicated and fascinating.
Large volume brands form the US is definitely losing their competitiveness in the Chinese market. Meanwhile, the life of large-volume Australian brands exported to China seems to be so easy. Analyzing these things should help with the answers and the examples to the question.