China’s ‘Kardashians’ market Aussie wine

Two social media stars dubbed the “Kardashians of China” are the face of a new Australian wine industry campaign aimed at young Chinese wine drinkers.

Online influencers the Chufei Churan twins are being brought to Australia by industry body Wine Australia for a tour of wineries and tourist spots that will be live-streamed to their million-plus followers on Chinese digital platform Taobao.

Chufei (Yuni) and Churan (Joyce), aged 30, will be in Sydney on Friday, September 7, for a day of food and wine tasting, including a breakfast overlooking the harbour and a cooking class at Sydney Fish Markets.

They will wrap up their tour with a visit to South Australian vineyards on Saturday.

Wine Australia has paid $34,000 for the twins’ two-day whirlwind tour as part of agreement with Chinese multinational Alibaba Group – owner of Taobao – to help boost Aussie wine sales via Tmall.com, China’s largest business-to-consumer retail platform.

Wine Australia general manager of marketing Stuart Barclay said the emerging middle class market in China was developing a sophisticated palate and an online presence was vital.

“Everything in China is purchasable online now,” Mr Barclay told AAP.

“You don’t need to leave the online environment, they use their mobile to do everything.”

Recent data indicated online consumers are split half and half along gender lines, Mr Barclay said, indicating a shift from the traditional Chinese target markets of male red wine drinkers and gift purchases.

“We can see with certain styles of white wine, like chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, prosecco, there is an increasing demand from women in the 18 to 35 age bracket,” he said.

The marketing campaign comes as Tmall hosts its annual 9.9 promotion: a festival showcasing more than 100,000 international wine and spirit brands to 576 million Chinese consumers.

The Chufei Churan twins also toured Australia in 2017 and shared that trip with their fans.

“Everything is such good quality like the wine, food and even the water- it is so clean,” they told AAP in an emailed correspondence.

The pair say their followers trust their advice because they only promote things they “really love.”

“Most of our fans are women so we share lots of recommendations together,” they said.

The Wine Australia marketing campaign is funded by a $50 million federal government Export and Regional Wine Support package.

FACTBOX

* China is Australia’s largest wine export market earning $1.12 billion in 2017/18.

* Australian wines attract a premium price in China, with a cost per litre higher than traditional wine-growing nations such as France.

* The Chufei Churan twins are from Guangzhou, China

* They started blogging in May 2016 when they were working as models for TaoBao.

* They have previously worked with major brands including HP, Estee Lauder, Toyota, Brown Brothers and Levi’s.

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