Vinexpo Shanghai 2021 was abruptly cancelled just 10 days before its official opening date, citing pandemic-induced international travel restrictions as the main cause for the cancellation, the organizer has announced through its official Chinese WeChat account.
The fair organized by Vinexposium and Comexposium China was scheduled to take place on October 20-22 in Shanghai at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC), but on October 11 the organizers suddenly pulled the plug less than two weeks before the start date, causing confusion for wineries and producers.
In the announcement, it faults the pandemic and its challenges imposed on international travels and effective communications as the culprit for the cancellation.
“As a result of the pandemic, up until today international travels and business communications are greatly restricted, making it impossible for us to present a high quality event to the trade,” the organizer said in the announcement.
Drinks China event which is planned concurrently with Vinexpo Shanghai is also cancelled consequently.
Earlier in May, the organizer was still sanguine about the October event, billing it as a return to physical fair as market recovers.
“As the crisis draws to an end due to the vaccination programme, it marks the resumption of alluring growth dynamics in China, where the market offers strong prospects for value creation over the next five years,” Vinexposium CEO Rodolphe Lameyse said at the time.
Two other main international wine fairs, ProWine Shanghai and Wine to Asia in Shenzhen, are still scheduled to kick off later this year as planned.
Vinexpo Shanghai was first launched in China in 2019 but so far the fair has yet to be able to fully find its standing in the Chinese market.
Last year, the fair went digital due to the pandemic, while its main competitors ProWine Shanghai and Wine to Asia still went ahead despite delays.
With the new announcement, it looks like exhibitors and visitors will have to wait for another year.