ProWine Shanghai, which for the longest time looks like the only large-scale international wine fair that is set to open its doors as scheduled this month, has just announced its forced postponement due to recent flareups of Covid cases across China.
China is the only major economy that still implements strict Covid policy that vows to root out all Covid infections. It is also facing the highest surge of cases in the past 6 months despite stringent zero Covid policy.
The 2022 edition of ProWine Shanghai was set to kick off at Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) from November 20-22, but as daily Covid cases in China push towards 4,000, the highest since May, many large-scale events are axed.
In a statement issued by ProWine Shanghai on November 4, it says it made the decision “in view of the recent sporadic cases of COVID-19 in many cities of China, following Shanghai’s epidemic prevention policy, regulations on exhibitions’ epidemic prevention and control, and for the interest of physical health of exhibitors and visitors”.
No further date has been announced yet. The B2B wine fair says it is working in close communication with relevant departments and partners involved.
China’s persistent Covid restrictions have forced a few leading wine shows to reschedule repeatedly including the country’s biggest wine and drinks fair, China Food and Drinks Fair (Chengdu), Wine2Asia organized by Vinitaly and Paco in Shenzhen.
All the disruptions will likely lead to reduced participants for these fairs especially amid slowing economic growth, tepid retail consumption and the indefinite border closure.
Meanwhile, across the border in Hong Kong, the Asian wine hub has been absent of hosting major wine fairs this year either, even though it has removed hotel quarantine. Vinexpo Hong Kong has announced its relocation to Singapore, and ProWine Singapore aims to be hosted annually instead of biennially, encouraged by strong success this year.