Stock of Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai dives sharply following article criticizing scalpers who profit from the premium brand

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/16 19:03:29

A view of Kweichow Moutai liquor sold in a supermarket Photo: IC

Stock of Kweichow Moutai, China's leading liquor brand, plunged by about 8 percent on Thursday afternoon after media under the People's Daily published an article on Wednesday criticizing some scalpers profiting while corrupt officials take advantage of the liquor brand due to its high value. 

The stock of Kweichow Moutai opened low on Thursday morning and continued to crash during the day, with a 7.9-percent-decline when markets closed compared with the previous day. Thursday's performance on the stock market was unusual for the liquor giant as it has always been seen as a profitable stock by many Chinese investors. 

A media platform under the People's Daily overseas edition "Xuexi Xiaozu" (meaning "study group") published an article titled "Who is paying for the sour Moutai?". 

"No matter whether it is the Kweichow Moutai, Tibet cordyceps sinensis, Xinjiang Hetian jade or other precious local products, the commodity value of these products should return to the market," the article wrote. 

Over the years, the value of Moutai liquor rises, shifting its role from consumer goods to a wealth management product, the article added. 

A bottle of Moutai which is priced at 1,499 yuan ($214.16) might be sold with the profits reaching nearly a thousand yuan and some scalpers said as long as one has enough capital, there is no reason the speculator can't earn 2 million yuan in a month by selling Moutai from hand to hand, according to the article.  

Such a phenomenon also provides the opportunity for some corrupt officials to stockpile the liquor. 

Wang Xiaoguang, former vice governor of Southwest China's Guizhou Province, obtained the management rights of four Moutai stores for his relatives and earned profits of more than 40 million yuan in seven years, the article claimed. 

It is said he doesn't drink any other liquor except Moutai. 

Before Wang was caught in 2018 for multiple offenses including taking bribes, he had been so anxious that he poured the expensive liquor into the sewer. More than 4,000 bottles of Moutai remained in his house after he was detained. 

His wife said such a huge amount of liquor was too difficult to dump, drink or be sent to others. 

Last year, Guizhou's supervision authorities set up an office in Kweichow Moutai, part of the efforts to supervise the company. 

According to the company's performance report in the first quarter, the liquor maker's quarterly revenue grew 12.67 percent year-on-year and the net profit attributable to shareholders rose 16.69 percent year-on-year, higher than its annual target of 10 percent growth. 

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