China Agri News Week 32, 2020

This is the news overview of week 32 from the agricultural team of the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing.

China Regulates on Commercial Live Streaming Activities

On July 29th, China State Administration for Market Regulation announced the draft of Guidelines to Strengthen Online Live Streaming Marketing Activities Supervision for public comments. 

Since the outbreak of covid19, China’s live-streaming economy developed vigorously. Within months, live-streaming went from being a somewhat small scale and often amateur promotion activity to a mainstream marketing tool for both B2B and B2C businesses all over the country. This shift of sales channels calls for new regulation and supervision. 

As of now, products and services sold through live streaming should conform to relevant laws and regulations, whereby it is not allowed to sell products prohibited from online trading such as specific nutritionally complete formula food on live-streaming platforms. For products such as health food, FSMP, pesticide, veterinary drugs, etc., it is even prohibited from publishing the advertisement without inspection approval in the live streaming (source: Chemlinked).


Chinese Labs Create Quality Potatoes to Reduce Poverty

According to a report from Xinhua, Inner Mongolia Xisen Potato is supplying millions of laboratory-grown seedlings to growers, which is helping reduce poverty. Wang Jianru from Inner Mongolia Xisen Potato told Xinhua the company’s laboratory as the ability to breed 150m disease-resistant seedlings every year, improving planting efficiency and quality.

The local government in the northern region of China has provided 44 households with rented greenhouses to cultivate breeder seeds. These greenhouses are capable of producing US$ 2,157 a year and two are said to be enough to lift a family out of poverty. This program has contributed to potato production in Ulanqab increasing in recent years with its planting area now at 267,000ha, around 8 % of all China’s total potato planting (source: Asiafruit). 

EU-China Geographical Indications Adopted for 100 Agri-Foods

After finishing the negotiations in November 2019, the Council of the European Union has now officially adopted the first bilateral trade agreement between the EU and China that is set to provide protections to geographically significant fruits and vegetables. The Council authorized the signatures of the EU and China on an agreement on geographical indications (GIs) set to initially protect 100 agri-foods from China and European countries including the likes of Yantai apples and Pêra Rocha from Portugal. The agreement is expected to enter into force later in 2020 once it has received the consent of the European Parliament. 

GI is a distinctive sign used on products that have a specific geographic origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. The EU-China agreement will protect the products' intellectual property rights and safeguard against translation, transcription, or transliteration. Four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover an additional 175 GI names from both sides. The agreement also includes a mechanism to add more geographical indications thereafter (source: Asiafruit). 

Digital Agricultural Product E-commerce Shows Tremendous Growth

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, digital agricultural product e-commerce has grown with more than 50% year-on-year, making it an important stimuli for rural economic growth. The epidemic has accelerated the digitalization process of the entire society, including digital life and production. Innovations within the agricultural products ecommerce sector focused mainly on contactless delivery, smart baskets, and increasing live-streaming activities. To further promote the digitalization of the agricultural sector, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has said to actively promote the upgrade of the supply chain through e-commerce (source: Farmers’ Daily, July 29th). 

Short News:

  • On July 28th, the Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing reopened. The market closed on June 13 after it was designated as the source of origin of the COVID-19 outbreak in the capital. 
  • In June, China’s total imports of grains, including wheat, barley, corn, rice, sorghum, and soybeans, increased with 80.6%. According to experts, China is importing more to comply with the US trade deal, but also to fill domestic supply gaps and hold down food prices (for full article see SCMP). 
  • Qingdao Horti IPM is postponed until 2021.