Are these the 10 most influential figures in China's seafood industry?

Published on
February 12, 2016

A list of the 10 most influential figures in the Chinese seafood industry, compiled by an influential industry circle on China’s Twitter-style Weixin microblog platform this week, will draw plenty of discussion and disagreement but it does offer a very interesting insight into current priorities and trends in China’s seafood industry.

The rankings of the most “influential and trend setting” people in the industry were compiled by “Hai Yang Zhi Nan,” a publisher that polled hundreds of seafood industry executives in China through Weixin.

Ivy Wang, chief China representative at the Atlantic Canada Business Network, tops the list, singled out for “putting Canadian lobster on so many Chinese dinner tables.”

In second place is Wang Lei, the general manager of Shandong Blue Ocean, who’s credited as a pioneer in e-sales of seafood in China. “Importing and promoting wild seafood” earned Sun Liang Jie, general manager of Qingdao Hai Mai Wang Haiyang Keji Ltd. a third-place listing. In fourth place comes Mi Jia, head of publicity (‘propaganda’) for the Qingdao International Seafood expo, the giant fair held every winter in northern China.

Dr. An Yan, the mainland China representative of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), comes in fifth place and is credited with “increasing awareness of sustainability” in China. One wonders if MSC has been talking to sixth-placed Mou Weili, general manager at the Shandong Hui Yang Group: a well-known fishing fleet operator and processor based in Penglai, Shandong province, Mou is credited with growing the demand for “deep sea fish” in China and “making wild caught deep sea fish synonymous with health in Chinese consumers’ minds.”

Norway’s ability to build market share for salmon and cod among China’s middle classes was recognized with the addition of the Norwegian Seafood Council’s China representative, Sigmund Bjorgo, to the list in the seventh spot.

Ranked eighth is Li Ying, general manager of Xingcheng Jia Ying Wei Ye Ltd, an interesting aquaculture and sales firm which is attempting to get a premium price for its farmed turbot – a popular mid-market species in Chinese restaurants. Based in the northerly province of Liaoning, the firm has gotten its fish listed under China’s geographic indicator system – “making Xingcheng turbot famous around China and the world,” according the company slogan. The firm claims to have teamed with a technology company in Shenzhen to develop an electronic tagging and traceability system which will “prevent counterfeiters selling fake Xingcheng turbot.”

The list also features the man behind China’s efforts to breed its own salmon: named in ninth place on the list is Dr. Jiang Xin, head of the salmon breeding program at Shandong Oriental Ocean, a well-known aquaculture and processing firm which has been cultivating salmon for sale live in tanks at a number of local supermarkets.

In tenth place, for “making crabs king” is Cheng Guang Long, general manager of Chen Jia, a successful freshwater crab cooperative which has cashed in on continuing strong demand for crabs across China while also seeking to give pricing power to smaller-scale producers.
Not everyone will agree with the ranking but it does show how China’s seafood market is expanding and evolving. Next week we’ll look at 10 others to watch in the industry.

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