Feature: Shopping season comes earlier for buyers at import expo

SHANGHAI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — While many are waiting for the Chinese version of “Black Friday,” some already got what they wanted at the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), which lasted from Monday to Saturday.

Backed by China’s huge demand, over 400,000 buyers from home and overseas flooded the expo with deep pockets.

Deals for intended one-year purchases of goods and services worth a total of 57.83 billion U.S. dollars were reached, the organizer said Saturday, hours before the start of “the November 11 online sales promotion,” one of the most popular shopping event in China.

From the German Taurus milling machine to Chilean cherries, many exhibits were ordered, or literally consumed, during the unprecedented event.

According to a preliminary tally by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche, the company has received intent orders worth over 1.5 billion yuan (about 215 million U.S. dollars) during the CIIE with products such as automated high-performance tissue dissection system and modular analyzer series drawing the most attention from professional buyers.

“The expo has sent a very clear signal: China will provide an even more open and fair environment for enterprises from across the world,” said Luca Xu, an associate stakeholder partnership director of Roche Diagnostics (Shanghai).

General Electric Healthcare has also signed letters of intent for procurement with nearly 100 customers from a dozen regions in China, covering products like magnetic resonance imaging system and ultrasound testing equipment, according to the company.

“With an aging population, a more wealthy middle-income group and the urbanization process, China’s potential demand for healthcare products and services is huge,” said Zhong Luyin, the company’s Greater China communications leader.

Gu Pengzhou, engineering manager of Faurecia Shanghai’s Clean Solution for Cities and Fleets Division, said their booth showcasing the latest fuel cell solutions was visited by a number of leading car manufacturers in China during the event, all showing huge interest in further cooperation.

“The expo also offers a great opportunity for Faurecia to show its latest green technology and visions to the end users,” said Gu.

Wang Guangsheng, general manager of a Shandong-based electric power engineering company, told Xinhua that he had visited all the halls in the exhibition center in two days, discovering a few unexpected but promising cooperation areas which could be introduced to his hometown.

Non-professional viewers were also admitted to the expo since Friday, and many brought their kids to experience the event.

At the expo, the LEGO booth is always filled with young visitors who are eager to try the world-famous Danish toy brand.

Eleven-year-old primary school student Zhou Siyu, who has many LEGO toys at home, played for more than half an hour in the booth because many of LEGO’s offerings are still unavailable in the Chinese market.

“It’s almost impossible to walk in our crowded booth,” said Chen Gang, chief representative of Ferretti in Shanghai, who was shocked by the passion of queuing viewers waiting to see the inside of a luxurious yacht.

Chen Ting, 39, was thrilled to look for products on her five-page “shopping list” from one booth to another at the expo, stretching from healthcare goods and cosmetics to garments.

At the expo, she took a closer look at the products and asked questions about them, which is very different from her previous experiences of shopping online.

“I could then rest assured in buying on November 11,” she said.

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