2022 China Fisheries expo in Qingdao canceled due to local COVID outbreak

Published on
October 31, 2022
The host venue of the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo.

The organizers of China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, China’s largest seafood trade fair, have called off the event, scheduled to take place 9 to 12 November, 2022.

The China Fisheries and Seafood Expo had originally been scheduled to take place 26 to 28 October, but was postponed and has now been canceled due to government intervention over concern the show will facilitate the spread of COVID-19.  

Qingdao authorities contacted the organizers of CFSE following a spate of new COVID cases in the city, telling them to cancel the event, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity.

More than 1,000 companies were originally expected to exhibit at this year’s show, down significantly from pre-pandemic versions of the event, in large part due to the 10-day quarantine requirement for foreign visitors, as well as difficulties getting visas.

This year’s show was set to look “a lot like” last year’s “in that the only overseas exhibitor and visitors will be companies that have staff in China,” Peter Redmayne, head of U.S. based co-organizing agency Seafare, told SeafoodSource in August 2022.

“While the shortened quarantine is a step in the right direction, it’s still onerous,” he said.

There were expectations that China President Xi Jinping might relax the country’s zero-COVID policy at the Communist Party Congress in Beijing, which concluded 26 October. But with no changes announced at the meeting, China is not expected to revisit its stance on its COVID-management measures until 2024.

China’s current approach toward COVID-19 involves severe lockdowns in areas where outbreaks occur.

In a statement issued 28 October, Redmayne apologized to those who were planning on attending the event.

“Due to the current COVID-19 situation in China, it’s still challenging to hold successful mass gatherings such as large trade shows that attract participants from throughout China,” Redmayne wrote. “As a result, and after extensive consultations with the Qingdao City administration of COVID-19 prevention and control, it will be necessary to reschedule the 26th annual China Fisheries and Seafood Expo. The new dates for the show will be determined when the Covid situation improves and large trade shows such as China Fisheries and Seafood Expo can again be held in Qingdao. We recognize that the current COVID-19 situation and the postponement of CFSE may result in significant inconveniences for participants. CFSE organizers will make efforts to connect exhibitors and potential visitors when a face-to-face trade event is delayed. CFSE Global Marketplace, the show’s digital platform, will remain live online, providing information and communication service for exhibitors and visitors.”

Photo courtesy of CFSE

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