Beiyang Jiamei Seafood CEO: low demand spurring massive discounting in China’s online retail marketplace

Peng Song, the CEO of Qingdao-based Beiyang Jiamei Seafood.

The lead-up to Chinese New Year is a traditionally reliable sales period for seafood, but not this year, according to Peng Song, the CEO of Qingdao-based Beiyang Jiamei Seafood.

Established in 2009, Beiyang Jiamei imports Arctic shrimp, cod, and salmon as well as Ecuadorian shrimp and Greenland halibut and sells it via Seamix Seafood, one of the most popular seafood brands in China, with a strong following on retailer sites including Beiyang Jiamei has been a leading advocate of bringing more Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified products into the Chinese market.

Taking place on 10 February 2024, Chinese New Year is not bringing its typical surge in seafood sales, Peng said.

“Although our business is not that much affected, as we have a better product portfolio to access diversified channels, we noticed that from October on, the sales were slower than before,” Peng told SeafoodSource.

A slow economy and uncertainty surrounding its future growth has made Chinese consumers wary of spending, Peng said.

“My feeling is that most consumers are a bit panicked about the future; for that very reason, they are holding their wallets tighter than before,” he said.

Best-sellers for the Seamix brand recently have been vannamei shrimp, salmon, and cod, but Peng said competitors are offering massive discounts to entice sales.

“Discounting has been larger than in previous years,” Peng said. “For example, during last year’s 11-11 Day [Singles Day], some e-commerce platforms offered a discount of 30 percent off for goods priced over CNY 199 [USD 27.80, EUR 25.80]. This year, the discount was 30 percent off for goods priced over CNY 99 [USD 13.86, EUR 12.80], and combined with discount coupons, the actual discount will be even greater.”

There are other signs that China’s enormous e-commerce sector ... 

Photo courtesy of  Zhejiang Fisheries Circulation and Processing Association

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