Tencent Rolls Out 24-Hour Livestreaming Platform for First Virtual Canton Fair

China kicked off the 127th China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair online on Monday due to the global spread of COVID-19. The country’s oldest and largest trade exhibition will be conducted as a form of “cloud exhibition” over the next 10 days with technical assistance being provided by Chinese internet giant Tencent.

Tencent has rolled out a 24-hour cloud exhibition platform for vendors and buyers for the Canton Fair. The exhibitors can upload the information of their products online in the forms of graphics, video, 3D, and virtual reality (VR). In addition, exhibitors can showcase their products through livestreaming and negotiate purchase directly with potential buyers. Different from the e-commerce livestreaming session, the business-to-business (B2B) scenes require a high-level of privacy, Tencent is working to ensure the particular negotiation can only be seen by parties involved.

“We have created a real-time communication platform so when both parties have trading intentions, they can quickly start a conversation,” Min Yan, the product manager who is responsible for the digital solution package that serves Canton Fair said. “If they want to officially start a price inquiry, they can fill out an inquiry form through our background processing system. The complete set for exhibitors and buyers is a breakthrough for both parties or it is very inconvenient to communicate with each other under the long distance and time difference.”

To schedule a meeting which works for both parties, Tencent asks exhibitors and foreign buyers to mark their available time for scheduled meetings on the company’s digital calendars, so they can pick their preferred time spots and receive email and text notifications before they start.

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The first virtual Canton Fair since 1957 will create an online international trade platform for products that cover 16 major export categories, such as home appliances, consumer goods, textiles, medical and health care. Held every spring and autumn in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province, the Canton Fair is widely seen as a barometer of the country’s foreign trade.

The “cloud exhibition” is making full use of digital technology since it can greatly improve the flexibility and efficiency of exhibitions and reduce labor costs. The digital economy dividend brought by “cloud exhibitions” will speed up the digital and intelligent transformation of the exhibition industry.

“Cloud exhibitions have become a new practice to stabilize foreign trade and accelerate the development of the digital economy,” said Rita Zeng, vice president of Tencent Cloud. “It will become a basic skill for exhibition organizers and participants, providing strong assistance for future traditional offline events.”