SCO envoys in China promote products in Chinese market through livestreaming
Countries use new platform to promote products in Chinese market
Published: Jan 18, 2022 08:54 PM
The brother of Habib-ur-Rehman introduces Himalayan salt lamp to Chinese audience at a livestreaming event on January 10 in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of Habib-ur-Rehman

The brother of Habib-ur-Rehman introduces Himalayan salt lamp to Chinese audience at a livestreaming event on January 10 in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of Habib-ur-Rehman

Diplomats from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states and other nations have turned into livestreaming hosts on China's leading online platforms to promote their countries' specialties, as China kicked off a one-month online shopping festival ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year. 

"Our biscuits are crispy and we soak them in tea or milk… In Uzbekistan, we eat walnuts along with raisins, which makes them even [tastier]," Akmalkhon Olimkhonov, the economic counselor of Uzbekistan's embassy in China, said in promoting nine of his country's specialties to Chinese consumers on Monday evening on the live-streaming platform of Alibaba's leading retail brand Hema Fresh. 

His passionate introduction to the one-hour show also turned into good sales numbers, according to a report by International Business Daily, as many of the products he promoted sold out shortly after Alibaba put them on the shelves.

Envoys from other countries also happily introduced their countries' specialties to Chinese consumers during the livestream session. An official from Pakistan's embassy in China displayed local rice and woodcrafts to online audiences, while an official from Cambodia's embassy in China made a local dish - seafood salad - with help of his wife, which won a lot of applause during the show. 

The event is one of a series of live-streaming sessions organized by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) that will promote the specialties of SCO members during the 2022 National Nianhuo Festival, an online sales campaign running from January 10 to February 7. It focuses on selling products for the Spring Festival, such as food and decorations.

According to information disclosed by the MOFCOM, these shows will promote about 1,500 types of specialties from SCO countries to Chinese consumers on leading domestic online platforms, including Alibaba and Douyin. 

Following Uzbekistan's show, envoys from other SCO members will do similar shows on Hema. For example, officials from Russia will also introduce local specialties and deliver new year greetings on Hema's livestreaming platform, Alibaba told the Global Times on Tuesday via a press release. 

The active participation of SCO envoys is a vivid reflection of SCO countries' high anticipation for the prospects of economic cooperation with China, as for many SCO countries, their products will be easily absorbed in China's large market, experts said.
"Because the development rates of SCO economies are uneven, it's hard to promote multilateral [economic] cooperation under the framework, but the development of bilateral cooperation, like between China and SCO members, goes very smoothly and has good prospects," Zhao Gancheng, director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the SCO, the world's largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population. It has a combined economic size that accounts for more than 22 percent of the world's GDP and 12 percent of global trade. 

According to Zhao, under the SCO framework, China and SCO economies can search for new economic cooperation channels, such as enhancing infrastructure construction with the help of the Belt and Road Initiative.