Posted: 06.12.2023 09:44:00

Expanding our path to Chinese marketplaces

Sales volume over 35 million Yuan and 2.2 million subscribers: how the National Pavilion of Belarus works in the Great Stone

Partnership relations between Belarus and China continue to develop dynamically, while trade and economic interaction is increasing. Belarusian goods are increasingly appearing on Chinese trading platforms thanks to the high level of bilateral co-operation. Thus, the National Pavilion of Belarus, operated by Industrial Park Great Stone, expanded its presence in the Chinese market through cooperation with two new sites, which, in turn, will be a significant addition to our country’s export portfolio next year. First Deputy Director General of SZAO Industrial Park Development Company Kirill Koroteyev spoke in more detail about work in the Chinese market in an interview.

Stable work

Kirill Koroteyev
— The National Pavilion of Belarus continues to operate successfully in the Chinese market. How do you assess the level of sales of Belarusian products at the moment, and which products are in the lead?
— The National Pavilion of Belarus has been developing steadily since its commissioning in July 2022. As of the end of November, total sales exceeded ¥35 million, and the number of subscribers on all platforms was 2.2 million. We currently co-operate with 25 Belarusian factories: we buy high-quality Belarusian products for subsequent sale in China. Chinese consumers highly value our products and sales continue to grow. The best-selling items: drinking milk, milk powder, chocolate and candies with fillings. The taste and packaging of these products meet the needs of the huge consumer market in Greater China. Chinese consumers confirm the quality and reasonable price of Belarusian products. Recently, Belarusian linen products and crystal tableware appeared on the marketplaces of the National Pavilion, which were also liked by many Chinese consumers. There are also plans to gradually introduce Belarusian honey to the Chinese market; our dairy products have great potential.

Time to expand

— It is known that the National Pavilion will work with two new Chinese platforms. What are your plans to promote Belarusian products there?
— Indeed, these are: the Taobao and Pinduoduo platforms. Different e-commerce platforms have different audiences with different purchasing habits. However, since Belarusian products, especially our food products, are what people need in everyday life, there is a huge demand for these product categories on different platforms. Given the promotion potential, we still plan to focus on food and at the same time continue to develop new Belarusian products to try to find acceptance in the Chinese market.

Adapted to the format

— As far as we know, the main sales format on Chinese platforms is streaming? How are bloggers selected to work for them?
— Working on Chinese platforms has its own specifics. For us, these are two formats: presentation of products on streams, as well as sales in online stores. At the same time, sales on platforms are mainly carried out through live broadcasts. Product targeting also occurs through filming and posting short videos on platforms. Belarusians working in Beijing and fluent in Chinese are invited to stream. Now we are constantly looking for such Belarusian talents and hope that even more Belarusians will take part in the National Pavilion of Belarus project.

Today the National Pavilion operates on the following platforms:
• Douyin
• Kuaishou
• Bilibili
• WeChat
• Weibo
• Xiaohongshu
• Tmall
• China Merchants Daojiahui
Two new sites will be added soon: Taobao and Pinduoduo.

Logistics issue

— How difficult is the issue of logistics for the supply of Belarusian goods today?
— There are still many difficulties. Firstly, our maritime transport is severely limited, line train schedules are very tight, and since the most traded goods are food products with a certain shelf life, this increases supply risks. In addition, Chinese customs also have high criteria for imported food products, and many products maintain high import thresholds.
Currently, cargo to China is mainly sent by rail via Russia. Despite the heavy workload in this direction, we have already agreed on the list of transportations with the Russian side. Under these agreements, it will be somewhat easier to ship goods. There are also Chinese dealers in China, to whom Belarusian manufacturers have given the exclusive right to represent their products. Due to this, we can increase sales within the National Pavilion. We now forecast sales growth on the platform of our country’s National Pavilion for next year to be around 20-25 percent.

By Ilya Kryzhevich