Joyvio, the agricultural arm under IT company Lenovo, has reportedly suspended its imported wine business, fueling speculation about the future of its wine division.
The company’s wine division general manager Sun Jun told Chinese media that the company has suspended its wine business, due to Covid-19 and global economic downturn.
Sun made the comment just a day after a Chinese report alleged that Joyvio’s wine division had been sold to another Chinese company called Forty Nine Union (肆拾玖坊), to which Sun refuted vigorously. The original Chinese report has since been deleted.
However, another unnamed executive from the company told Jieyejia that Joyvio has lost its previous gains during the pandemic and the company is now dispensing its old stocks.
It’s not known if Joyvio will resume its wine business and the executive says it all depends on how the world handles coronavirus. The focus for the company going forward will be on imported fruits, meat and seafood, he commented, adding fears that the company will likely fold its wine business altogether.
Founded in 2013, Joyvio entered into China’s wine market with much fanfare and media craze when the computer giant Lenovo decided to import and distribute wines. The entrance was welcomed by the wine trade as a boost of confidence at a time when Beijing was clamping down on corruption, which adversely affected high-end wine sales.
With strong financial backing and its parent company’s brand visibility, Joyvio’s wine portfolio quickly expanded to include the world’s biggest organic producer Emiliana from Chile, France’s Jean Pierre Moueix, Australia’s Burch Family and Howard Park wines.
By 2018, the company says it had over 600 partners across China with over 430 physical stores and online flagship shops on the country’s biggest e-commerce platforms including Tmall.com, JD.com and Suning.
Despite all of its trappings, critics believe Joyvio failed to make inroads in China’s wine market, due to its lack of common touch with average Chinese drinkers. Others speculated the failure was due to poor management and brand building.