Total beef consumption in China in 2018 is estimated at 8.5 million metric tons, second only to the U.S., according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. With the development of China’s economy and the improvement of living standards, the demand for beef in China is rising. In response to the growing beef consumption, China is importing more beef. From 2013 to 2017, the beef output volume in China grew from 6,130,900 tons to 6,346,200 tons at a CAGR of only 0.9%, while the beef imports grew at a CAGR of nearly 24%.

Beef consumption in China is low but rising. Despite being a major beef producing and consuming country for many years, China never participated much in global beef markets until recently.

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China needs to feed 22% of world’s population with of 7% of its agriculture resources and 6% of its water resources. China’s total beef and veal consumption have increased to seven million tonnes in 2015 and is expected to upsurge to around eight million tonnes in 2020, according to Euromonitor.

Market Analysis


The Chinese government’s policies on beef import include restrictions and incentives. In order to, control epidemics and support the domestic beef industry, the Chinese government bans the import of cattle and cattle products from high-risk countries and regions.

However, The Chinese government signs trade agreements with some countries to cut the tariffs on beef imports and increase the beef supply in China. Only the countries and regions included in China Customs’ List of Meat Eligible for Export to China from Countries or Regions that Meet the Requirements of Assessment and Review can export beef to China. China’s beef imports mainly come from Brazil, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand and Argentina. In 2017, the five countries contributed more than 90% of both the import value and import volume of beef in China.

The E-commerce is the most suitable to reach Chinese consumers

imported beef in China

In a report by China’s Animal Protein Outlook the analyst, Blake Holgate states that “E-commerce is the fastest growing retail channel in China, with online sales growth forecast to increase by 20 per cent out to 2020, compared to just six per cent for traditional retail,”.

It is important for international brands aspiring to roll out businesses in China that they gain benefit of E-commerce distribution channels in China. E-commerce gives access to reach medium and high income consumers.

E-commerce is playing a vital role especially in grocery and food with respect to imported beef meat. The usage and adaptability of e-commerce channels is growing at a rapid pace due to its convenience, trust and social experience. E-commerce has accounted for around 25% of total retail sales in 2018 and is projected to continue to grow to around 30% in 2019. Since 2011, online retail sales have almost doubled each year. In 2018, more than 40% of total online sales were imported goods.

Branding for Imported Beef in China is the right first step!

Beef is really sensitive to quality and safety. Chinese people like to be certain about the quality of the product before buying it. Imported Beef is extremely popular in Chinese cuisines and westernised cuisines in China. The company needs to build e-reputation in order to gain popularity among customers. The marketing campaign must address the need of customers. It is highly important for International companies to understand the local culture and demands before it translates its offerings. Therefore, when approaching China’s E-commerce, it is advisable to partner with local digital agency as it is equipped with right set of skills to find a “sweet spot” between the International brand value and preference of Chinese consumers.

Imported Meat, specially Beef is sold well on Chinese E-Commerce

Demand of Imported Beef on TMALL

TMALL holds the biggest market share in e-commerce market of China at 59.5%. It mainly focuses on premium brands. This characteristic makes TMALL most expensive e-commerce marketplace in China. It provides an opportunity to International brands to open exclusive online stores and directly sell products to Chinese consumers without being physically present in China.

TMALL has invitation-only policy where only qualified international brands can either be invited to join or can apply through a local digital marketing agency. For more information on how to sell International products through TMALL, please contact digital marketing agency.

Meeting Demand of Imported Beef on is China’s largest online direct sales company(25.8%). It relatively has less market share than International companies can open individual online stores on JD’s cross-border service enables suppliers to sell directly to Chinese consumers without a local is less expensive than TMALL. has a zero tolerance policy for counterfeit products.

Demand of Imported Beef on Haitao Web Interface?

There are several cross- border websites that cater international brands. Chinese consumers prefer buying imported products from Haitao websites. To learn about which Haitao is suitable for you brand please contact local marketing agency catering International brands.

Demand of Imported Beef on Taobao

Taobao is owned by Alibaba Group. It offers largest C2C e-commerce marketplace in China. Taobao allows registered or non-registered businesses to sell directly to consumers. Establishing a store on Taobao is virtually free but the online marketplace is ruled by small sole sellers who compete fiercely on price and honesty and authenticity is an unwritten rule of their trade ethics. Sellers with low budget and low quality products opt for this platform.

Imported Beef in China on WeChat Store


WeChat takes part in lifestyles of Chinese consumers. It is all-in-one-app which integrates social e-commerce seamlessly. Wechat store gives numerous possibilities to International brands to reach Chinese consumers effectively. Possibilities ranges from Branding to campaigning and easy payment methods.

WeChat Service Account is considered the most suitable for business and organization that aspires to access advanced WeChat Official Account. Service accounts allow more APIs (Minisite) and companies are can open their own store. The online store can be used to manage products, take orders, display products, and manage customer complaints. For more information on how to manage Wechat store, international companies are advised to partner with expert Digital Marketing Agency, willing to apply for an Official WeChat Account on behalf of the international company.



Are you interested in selling Imported Beef in China’s E-commerce market, and learn how you can target Chinese consumers digitally? You are welcome to call us for a friendly discussion and learn about your brand’s prospects in Chinese E-commerce market. Our Digital Marketing agency provides, international brands with tools that are optimal to unlock this enormous market to earn their full potential. If you are interested in exploring Chinese Digital E-Commerce platforms, reach out to us for a customised advice.


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  1. Hello
    We are a Chinese distribution & import company, and we would like this year to distribute a beef brand from Europe, australia or north america to China.
    contact me if you are serious

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