Residents in China’s southern metropolis Shenzhen certainly had a boozy month of May. The city has given out RMB 50 million (US$7 million) worth of drinks voucher to local residents in an effort to boost alcohol sales amid pandemic.
While cities around mainland China have issued vouchers for dining and grocery to encourage domestic consumption, Shenzhen in Guangdong province decided to unite with the city’s 200-strong wine merchants to give out RMB 50 million worth of vouchers for a range of drinks including Chinese spirit baijiu, beer and wine.
According to the city’s alcoholic drinks association, the move aims to “stimulate alcohol sales” and “boost consumer confidence” in drinks industry for “sustainable development”.
Local residents can use the vouchers to redeem wines, beer and other beverages of their choice at designated shops, according to Chinese media.
Other cities in China have yet to adopt similar policy, but Shenzhen which sits at the footstep of neighboring Hong Kong, is considered a wine consumption hub in southern China.
Guangdong province is also a major alcoholic beverage consumption powerhouse in mainland China. The province spent RMB 58.6 billion (US$8.2 billion) on alcoholic drinks in 2018, according to available data published by Guangdong drinks association.
China’s wine and drinks sales during the lockdown months from late January to April virtually ground to a halt. With on-premise sales through restaurants and bars collapsed, the only wine consumption scenario is at home.
China Alcoholic Drinks Association announced this year that in January and February, large-scale distilleries and wineries across the country achieved sales revenue of RMB 120.7 billion (US$16.9 billion), a year on year drop of 15.58%, with wine sales suffering the sharpest decline among all alcoholic beverages.
Earlier Alberto Fernandez, managing partner of Torres China, one of China’s top 10 wine importers, warned wine sales this year would drop by at least 20%.