Leverage CIIE Shanghai 2023

China International Import Expo – CIIE [Marketing Guide]

The Chinese market is the second-largest importing nation in the world, with over $2.6 trillion in trade value of imported consumer goods in 2021.

Considering the rapid development of the local business scene within the past consecutive years, it’s no wonder foreign brands are rushing in to tap into it. And what better way to do that than participating in this year’s China International Import Expo (CIIE)?

Read along as we discuss everything you need to know about this important trade fair in China, from its rich history to the digital marketing strategies your brand can execute for the success of your first CIIE experience.


What is the China International Import Expo (CIIE)?

The first CIIE hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government started way back in 2018 at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center. Since then, it has marked its place as the most anticipated trade fair in the Chinese market.

The China International Import Expo now serves as a platform for companies around the world to showcase and trade their products with potential local consumers and business partners.

In 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the China International Import Expo, attracting around 500,000 participants from both the local market and the global business scene.


China International Import expo 2023 Shanghai


With the fair supported by global institutions like the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, it bridges China and other countries toward economic collaboration.

The organizers will facilitate participation by streamlining customs clearance procedures, inspections, and quarantine restrictions. The event also aims to offer comprehensive online and offline transactional support while strongly emphasizing intellectual property rights protection, thereby upholding the best interests of all participating merchants.


When & Where is the China International Import Expo Happening In 2023?

This year’s CIIE will happen from the 5th to the 10th of November, 2023. Unlike the first CIIE in the National Exhibition and Convention Center, the 6th annual trade fair will occur at the Shanghai International Convention Center, Binjiang Avenue 2727, Shanghai City.


Who Usually Attends The China International Import Expo (CIIE)?

Since the World Trade Organization is one of the official partners of CIIE, you’ll notice big brands from all over the world conducting forums and conferences during the event.

Take L’Oréal as an example. The brand held its first-ever North Asia Beauty Industry Innovation Summit at the China International Import Expo. Through this event, their representatives discussed product innovations and how technology can help achieve its business goals in the Chinese market.


L'ORÉAL North Asia Beauty Industry Innovation Summit

L’ORÉAL North Asia Beauty Industry Innovation Summit (Source: Cision PR Newswire)


For CIIE 2023, the trade fair will be divided into seven categories. The event’s exhibition area will include businesses under food & agricultural products, automobiles, intelligent industry & information technology, medical equipment & health care products, consumer goods, trade-in services, and innovation incubation.


CIIE Shanghai Exhibition Areas

CIIE Shanghai Exhibition Areas (Source: Official Website)


Top Digital Marketing Strategies to Leverage CIIE in Shanghai

1.   Utilize WeChat to Reach Your Target Audience

When it comes to business communication, any brand in the Chinese market can testify to the effectiveness of using WeChat. It was one of the top social media platforms for consecutive years, helping countless businesses reach their target audience in a more personalized way.


SDG’s work with Sennheiser: Promotion via WeChat for China Joy


Besides its messaging features, your WeChat marketing strategy in preparation for CIIE 2023 can consist of live streaming, advertising campaigns, or a mini-program that effectively showcases your products and services to potential consumers even before the event happens.

You can also create a virtual brochure for the upcoming China International Import Expo. The attendees of the forthcoming event can access its content by scanning the QR codes included in the brochures, which will lead them to the company’s virtual stores or websites.

Through WeChat’s interactive functions, foreign CIIE exhibitors can also engage local audiences through brand surveys and mini-games.


2.   Collaborating with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs)

Most social channels in China have influential figures that consumers follow for product recommendations and honest feedback. These people are called Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs, and they have a strong hold over the purchasing decisions within the Chinese market.


KOL collaboration Arkamys Auto Show Shanghai 2023

SDG’s Work with Arkamys: KOL collaboration for the Shanghai Auto Show 2023


Top influencers in today’s digital space often specialize in particular niches, which is one of the reasons why their fan base trusts their opinions over typical brand advertisements.

Since the China International Import Expo includes locally trusted brands and massive businesses from around the world, you can get ahead of the competition by utilizing the positive image of the KOL of your choice.

However, always remember that KOL campaigns can put your brand’s reputation on the line. Because of this, it’s crucial to select a brand representative that resonates with your audience and aligns with your business goals.


3.   Localize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

If you intend to find potential business partners in CIIE 2023, it’s a no-brainer that you must get your B2B marketing strategy on point. One of the first steps to do that is localizing your brand.

From all your website content and social media posts to domain name and product descriptions, everything must be translated into Simplified Chinese and created in a way that aligns with cultural nuances within the local market.


localize your website for China


Consumers and business partners in China are more digitally inclined than you think, with over 1 billion people using the internet daily. So, it’s not new for them to find details about your company online before deciding to do business with you, even if you’re at CIIE.


4.   Launch Targeted Advertising Campaigns

With your competitors coming from all over the world, utilizing ad formats for your CIIE promotional campaign can effectively introduce your brand to the local market. You can launch advertisements on different platforms, like through Baidu PPC or WeChat Ads.

The ad formats from these platforms include different targeting options depending on your budget and campaign purpose. Nevertheless, the exposure these ads can bring to your brand is immense and can lead to a successful CIIE experience.



What Can Brands Expect in CIIE 2023?

●     Industry-Specific Exhibition Areas

CIIE is a big event, but it doesn’t mean participating businesses will be drowned by unorganized crowds. The venue has designated areas for specific industries, from information technology to the food and intelligent industry. You can expect the event to highlight your products and services.


●     Networking Events for Entrepreneurs & Businesses

Since potential business partners and consumers will be in attendance, CIIE often hosts networking events that allow brands to discuss or collaborate with their target market.


●      Opportunities in China for International Businesses

Through the CIIE, China seeks to provide a gateway for global companies to tap into its vast market.

This initiative not only offers avenues for businesses to grow and thrive in China but also serves as a platform to comprehend local regulations, foster connections with local companies, and acquire a deeper understanding of conducting business within the Chinese landscape.


●     Facilitating B2B Partnerships at CIIE

CIIE offers an ideal setting for fostering business-to-business collaborations. You must plan in advance how to connect with potential collaborators or customers using the brand’s official channels or leverage the on-the-spot networking opportunities curated by the organizers.


●     Opportunity to be Exposed to Different Markets & Audiences

According to CIIE’s official org website, over 2800 exhibitors are expected to participate in this year’s event. Among them, 438 are new products or services debuted in different industries.

While it’s true that some of these exhibitors can be your industry competitors, CIIE can be a good time for you to look at what your rivals are doing. It’s also an excellent opportunity to know the latest trends and updates surrounding the local market.


Your Digital Marketing Partner for CIIE 2023!

The CIIE 2023 allows global enterprises to engage with the booming Chinese marketplace. With its commitment to nurturing international commerce and collaboration, CIIE is an opportunity for vendors to present their offerings and engage with a vast audience in one of the globe’s most expansive consumer segments.


Sekkei Digital Group Services


At Sekkei Digital Group, we dive deep into understanding the intricacies of the Chinese consumer landscape. We can help you utilize the power of modern digital marketing, from crafting compelling ad campaigns to harnessing the power of search engine platforms and social media channels. Contact us today to learn more!


contact us SDG



Decoding China’s CIIE And What It Means For Foreign Brands
CIIE | China International Import Expo 2023

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