Upstart Bei Yu Fishing Industry Co gains powerful partners in Tongwei, Shunfeng, and Alibaba
Potential commercial synergies between Chinese aquaculture and the country’s huge tourism industry are being highlighted by the emergence of an ambitious new state-owned player in the country’s north.
Heilongjiang Bei Yu Fishing Industry Co. Group (which goes by the name Bei Yu Group) aims to produce large volumes of crabs and fish for a domestic tourist market, while also making its production facilities visitor attractions. Bei Yu is based in Daqing city in Heilongjiang Province, near the Russian border, a city once known as a major oil drilling hub. The company is expanding a large complex in Daqing to accommodate its fast growth.
Bei Yu is a subsidiary of Heilongjiang Tourism Investment Group, an entity with large holdings in real estate, transportation, and retail, including operating a chain of its own concept stores in several major Chinese cities. The company plans to quadruple its aquaculture footprint in the coming three years, to over 400,000 hectares of land and sea. The firm is also cooperating with the Tongwei Group, a top agriculture feed and solar energy player in China, as well as leading logistics firm Shunfeng and e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Established in 2018 and headed by CEO Kang Zhiyong, the Bei Yu Group is aiming to capitalize on wealthier Chinese consumers’ worries over food safety, while also tapping a growing demand for leisure. The company has the promotional tagline “Cold-water Heilongjiang fish” and has launched a marketing campaign emphasizing the “ecological purity” and healthiness of its products.
Bei Yu also plans to cooperate with another state-owned giant, Beijing First Agriculture (which also goes by the English name Sunlon Group), to help it distribute its products in the Chinese capital. Beijing First’s scale and heft – it owns several food brands, including a leading dairy producer – is further evidence of a continued entrance of deep-pocketed state owned conglomerates into the Chinese seafood sector.
In a mission statement supplied to SeafoodSource, Bei Yu said it will look to “digitize” the seafood trade and harness the tourism potential of aquaculture and fisheries.
Bei Yu products, including freshwater crab, carp, and niche “local” variations of the more premium Mandarin fish species, are already retailing at the Hema Xiansheng supermarket chain, which is operated by Alibaba.
Photo courtesy of Heilongjiang Bei Yu Fishing Industry Co. Group