April 8, 2020 seafood news.com

Online channels have been rising to prominence as seafood marketing tools in China, a country haunted by the coronavirus outbreak and also market bust during this Chinese New Year. These platforms not only boost the country’s domestic sales volumes of seafood, but also push upward some of their prices.

A case in point is the one-week-long virtual seafood festival initiated by Shenzhen Commerce Bureau, Tecent, JD and Weiku Seafood. About 100 tons of seafood have been sold in this shopping carnival, which ran from March 16 to 22, and its videos and live streaming have been viewed for 0.25 billion times.

After watching two of the videos, consumers bought 3,000 common box crabs and 4,000-jin lobsters (1 jin=0.5 kilo), which were seen as unsellable earlier. Altogether 87 seafood companies have attended this event, and their revenue has already exceeded 1 million yuan by 8:30 pm on the first day. Some like Weiku have seen obvious increase in their online accounts’ fan number.

In addition to great sales volumes, online platforms have also contributed to higher seafood prices. Consider crayfish, whose prices were in decline and set new low records this March, but rebounded in April. On April 1, a 10-minute live streaming promotion of some celebrity, for example, has helped sell out 0.17-odd-million boxes of crayfish and create a revenue over 20 million yuan.

Statistics show that their prices have increased five times recently, and that of large ones even increased to 30 yuan/jin at one point. And Alibaba announced that it is to buy crayfish worth 1 billion yuan from Hubei, a province hit hard by the prevalent disease. This is expected to contribute to even better market performance.

Faced with depression, more have turned to online platforms for seafood promotion and faster market recovery. Even the country’s state-owned television network, the CCTV, has designated some live broadcasting to lure foodies in China to buy more. There may be many uncertainties looming ahead. But one thing that most agree on is virtual sales channels are very likely to become increasingly important for seafood companies’ expansion or even survival.