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Shaoxing holds key industry summit

By Richard Whiddington & Sun Hui| Updated: November 10, 2016 L M S

The 22nd Shaoxing Rice Wine Festival Industry Summit was held in the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Shaoxing on Nov 7.

The event followed the success of the morning’s opening event and saw eight separate speakers address the conference hall on a broad range of topics.

Following a brief introduction an official from the municipal government, the crowd was introduced to a range of novel rice wine products from 2016 that promise to push the industry towards a brighter future.

This introduction set the tone for the series of lectures aimed at reflecting the ways in which the rice wine industry seeks to innovate from within by expanding both its marketability and customer base. The audience was largely comprised of those involved in the rice wine industry and members of the media.  

Wang Yancai, president of China Association of Alcoholic Beverages, spoke about the future development of the region’s rice wine industry and specified its relationship to the 13th Five Year Plan. This dovetailed neatly into the speech given by Fu Jianwei, president of the Rice Wine Group. Fu discussed the importance of preserving the heritage of Zhejiang’s famed beverage while simultaneously seeking to develop the capabilities of the industry through seeking new business avenues.

Mao Jian, a chemistry professor at Wuxi’s Jiangnan University, delivered the afternoon’s most technical lecture by discussing rice wine through a molecular lens geared towards focusing how quality and artistry can be achieved through science.


Qiu Han, president of Zhejiang Modern E-Commerce Research Institute, delivers a speech on the importance of e-commerce at the 2016 Rice Wine Industry Summit, Nov 7. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Qiu Han, president of Zhejiang Modern E-Commerce Research Institute, gave the closing speech. In a fascinating lecture, Qiu explored the shifting alcoholic appetites of modern Chinese consumers and discussed how modern developments, such as e-commerce, relate to the rice wine industry.

This series of lectures shifted the tone of the festival towards the academic and away from the revelry of the Shaoxing MIDI Festival and the excitement of the morning’s opening ceremony that is annually enacted to commence the rice wine brewing season.


Attendees at the 22nd Industry Summit of Shaoxing Rice Wine Festival take their seats for the series of informative lectures, Nov 7. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]