- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 8th December 2015
- beer, brewery, Britain, china, diplomacy, politics, Xi, xi jin ping
On the Chinese president’s last trip to Britain, he was invited by David Cameron for a pint of beer, who was hoping to open a “golden era” for the relationship between China and Britain.
However, this personal invitation led to an unexpected outcome. Xi made an undeliberate advertisement for the beer Greene King, which is a traditional British brewery founded in 1799.
After Xi Jinping and David Cameron were photographed drinking this beer together, its sales quickly multiplied in China. According to Peter Bloxham, a British businessman who imports British beer to China, demand for the Greene King has been coming from all over China since Xi’s visit to the pub. At the same time, bars in Beijing have also started putting on advertisements announcing that they have the Greene King in stock in an attempt to lure more customers – but whether they all offer actual genuine Greene King beer or have simply relabeled other beer brands is an area of concern for Chinese pub-goers.
The influence of this beer is not only confined in Beijing. Requests for this beer also come from remote regions like Xinjiang, which is far away from the economic centers in China. As the local news website Tianshan Net reports, sales of the Greene King have also soared in this remote province. Beer lovers in Xinjiang claim that this beer tastes like flowers, which passes the taste of indigenous consumers.
In the city of Tianjin, which is located near Beijing and also an economic powerhouse in North China, alcohol retailers are also struggling to meet the huge demand for the Greene King. There are even some customers who are willing to pay double the regular price to get a taste of the suddenly popular British beer.
In response to this surge in demand, Bloxham is already planning to increase the amount of the Greene King he imports to China each month. Before Xi’s visit to the UK, he only imported about 6,000 bottles of Greene King to China every month – now he plans to increase this volume to 80,000 in order to meet customer demand.
As China is the biggest beer consumer worldwide, this substantial growth of sales in the Chinese market can be a lucrative opportunity for the brewery of the Greene King, which has 1,600 pubs. According to the spokeswoman of the brewery, the company is glad that the demand in China is rising and says that they will work hard to satisfy the needs of the Chinese market.
Steve Hollings, who owns the pub Xi and Cameron visited with his wife, said that Cameron and his wife visit the pub frequently. When they come to the pub, they are just normal citizens enjoying some private time. He also said that President Xi found the beer enjoyable, but that he did not have enough time for another pint.
Source: The Guardian