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Hundreds of thousands suppliers and buyers are expected to turn out in the the 104th session of the China Import & Export Fair (Canton Fair). Alibaba debuts the “104th Canton Fair trade show” information today with highlight on new featured products.


104th Canton Fair

Alibaba new featured products in the 104th Canton Fair


Despite the outbreak of economic turmoil in the last couple of weeks and the wear-off of the hype and joyous feelings from the Olympics Game, international buyers and suppliers explored the opportunities to do business again.

The 104th session of the Canton Fair has split two phases into three. It is now held from October 15 to November 6, 2008.

  • Phase1: October 15th – 19th, 2008
  • Phase2: October 24th – 28th, 2008
  • Phase3: November 2nd – 6th, 2008

Venue: China Import and Export Fair Complex (No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China)


104th-canton fair-shopping


Another change to be introduced in this session is the use of a new IC card entry badge system for buyers and exhibitors. Previously used E-Pass cards will be replaced by the new IC cards which will be available on site or mailed in advance by Canton Fair organizers.

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For the first time, Alibaba International site is taking stride to expand its trade shows activities by launching an online trade show. Backed by 600 verified Gold suppliers, the trade show platform can match buyers with quality suppliers and products.

The first round of this year has started from May 15 and will be ended on June 14. Users can make appointments with their potential trade partners seven days a week, 24 hours per day.

Make appointment with Gold Suppliers

The new platform enables users to do sourcing by “industry” or “products and services”. These two streams can be classified as below:


For more information to be an exhibitor, you can contact Alibaba here


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We poked our noses into Alibaba‘s first-time “Gala Event” in Hong Kong yesterday and managed to meet with several gold suppliers face-to-face. The guest speakers on the stage gave a fairly positive comment to Alibaba‘s trading platform.

To summarize their experiences in using Alibaba as a virtual assistant in doing business in their own specific fields, we can come up with several points as below:

  • To come up with a keyword stratgey that can make their products search-able by buyers all over the world
  • To check out competitors’ latest product information and compare their prices against their counterparts on product listings pages 
  • To establish business leads by making use of inquiries  

All speakers unanimously agreed that their offline marketing campaigns such as, erecting a booth in trade shows were no longer the most effective way to do business. The booth was solely a demonstration of their their presence in their own field.   

The event hosted by Alibaba geared towards Hong Kong suppliers vying for the benefits of using the B2B platform.

David Wei at Gala event in Hong Kong


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Chinese exporters may feel the pinch by experiencing a sluggish trading atmosphere in the 103rd Canton Fair Yet, it may also be the right moment for them to rethink of their online marketing strategy. 

Tough year for exporters at 103rd Canton Fair!

From what we’ve seen in the last session of Canton Fair, we found not as many buyers from the U.S. and the European countries as it used to be. Instead we’ve seen Indians, Pakistans and some other South Americans seeking for bargains.

The show has so far secured 128,155 foreign buyers in attendance,  a 5.8 percent decrease than the last spring fair. The number of US importers slipped 23.3 percent and those France, Germany fell 11.8 and 9.5 percent, respectively. 

Time to map out a new online marketing strategy

B2B partner

Some sophisiticated suppliers admitted that they should look for additional channels to promote their products other than using offline promotion in trade shows. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a collection of B2B marketplaces springing up in the China territory, which help removing hurdles in global trade by taking advantage of online community and trading platforms.

To use an analogy, the situation the Chinese exporters are now facing is like a glass filled with half water. You can tell it’s half empty permissively  or you can be positive enough to say there’s still another half need to be refilled. It’s a matter of how you think.

Stronger yuan and weaker world market soften the export growth 

Besiegned with the rising yuan and unfolding credit crisis in the U.S., it’s widely expected that there’s a slowdown of purchasing orders and buyers’ turn-out rate in the trade fair.

China’s exports to the United States rose just 5.4 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year.

Exports to the European Union, which overtook the United States last year as China’s biggest trading partner, rose 24.2 percent in the first quarter, while shipments to Vietnam, Brazil and Russia leaped by 89.5 percent, 77.6 percent and 51.6 percent, respectively.

“External demand from Western countries, including the United States, Britain and Europe, is very sluggish, which does not support such a fast rise in export growth,” said Zhao Qingming, an economist at China Construction Bank in Beijing.

Early in April, the World Bank cut its 2008 forecast for China by 0.2 percentage points to 9.4 percent — its second reduction in as many months. The Asian Development Bank also lowered its 2008 forecast for China’s economic growth to 10 percent from 10.8 percent.

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Subsequent to our latest article of “Canton fair 2008: Make appointment with supplier online“, we see the special edition of “103rd Canton Fair Special” online today.

Despite the cheerful lady with a handful of Alibaba’s striking orange bags in her arm,  the Canton Fair feature site also offers some unique features that capture buyers’ attention. The Supplier Map will be benefical to those who are interested in seeking suppliers from different regions: Foshan, Dongguan, Jiangman, Huizhou and Shenzen etc.

Alibaba cheerful lady

The visual map incorporated with a simple-to-use search function can take online users back to supplier search.  A reminder though – make sure you turn off your pop-up window blocker, or you will get frustrated very easily!! 

Canton Fair Suppliers search

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