Pakistani jewellery gaining foothold in China via branding and live e-commerce
By Wang Xiaotong | China Economic Net Nov 26, 2021
SHANGHAI, Nov. 26 (China Economic Net) – Earlier in this month, Pakistani gemstones glittering at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first and largest import-themed expo globally, were much appreciated by Chinese visitors. They were impressed by the exquisitely designed high-end jewellery from Pakistan.
According to the brand owner, after participating in the last year’s CIIE, their store-sales have grown 40-50% on year-on-year basis, confirming CIIE’s great boost to foreign businesses, and more significantly, the expanding recognition of Pakistani jewellery in China.
Breath-taking Pakistani jewellery on show at the 4th China International Import Expo (CIIE) impresses Chinese visitor a lot. [Photo/Wang Xiaotong]
Giant leap in Pak gemstone exports to China in 2021
Facilitated by China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) Phase Ⅱ, Pakistan’s gemstone export tariff to China dropped from 17%-32% to zero. In the first three quarters of 2021, as per China Customs, Pakistan’s exports of raw gemstones to China are 9.6 times those of the same period in 2020, in the context of meanwhile the country’s total exports to China skyrocketing to $2.5 billion, a strong year-on-year growth of 77%.
Specifically, Pakistan’s precious stones including ruby, sapphire, emerald, and semi-precious stones to China achieved a total export of nearly 500,000 carats, revealing an increasing demand for gemstones from Pakistan in the world’s largest market.
In November, 2021, clear and peach-pink Pakistani morganite was first exhibited at CIIE. [Photo/Wang Xiaotong]
Ruby and sapphire most favored among Chinese
Chinese consumers are partial for ruby and sapphire of 1 to 3 carats. “Ruby contributed the most to the sales growth, followed by sapphire, diamond and emerald. Female consumers over 30 years old in the Chinese market are composed of our main customer group. Their first choice is ruby or sapphire of 1 to 3 carats,” the Pakistani jeweller Aqeel Ahmed Chaudhry told CEN.
As sapphire is regarded as a sentimental token of engagement and commitment overseas especially in Europe, the Pakistani jewellery brand has tried to popularize this special meaning among Chinese consumers and achieved good results. Furthermore, more Pakistani jewellery and gemstone artware are designed to cater to the cultural taste of the Chinese.
Pak jewellery moving towards upmarket in China
Pakistan’s jewellery has entered China for years, and the reasonable price has always been one of the main selling points. Now, by building brands and improving design and service, Pakistani jewellery is trying to take up a slice of the high-end market in China.
Already having run a store in a luxury mall located at one of Shanghai's most well-known shopping districts, with business grows, Aqeel’s jewellery brand is going to open a new store in Dalian, Liaoning province soon.
“My suggestion for Pakistani jewellery enterprises is not just selling raw materials. We should provide best service for consumers. Staff training is very important, which let us have better interaction with consumers. Furthermore, we need to understand the prevalent fashion trend of the industry to design and develop new products. A unique brand should be established to manage from supply, design to marketing,” Aqeel said.
Pakistani jeweller talks with potential Chinese business partners at CIIE. By participating in the 3rd CIIE and developing a branding strategy, he got a store-sales increase of 40-50% this year. [Photo/Wang Xiaotong]
As observed, a large number of Pakistani gemstone products in the Chinese market look stunning but without certification, which hinders them from receiving more recognition.
“If Pakistani gemstones want to gain a foothold in the Chinese market, it’s compulsory to meet certain testing standards, such as authoritative appraisals from Peking University and China University of Geosciences. The inspection report with the China Metrology Accreditation seal can be used for product quality evaluation, results and judicial appraisal. This is the standard of China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment, which means that this inspection agency is accredited in China,” Jewelry appraiser Zhang Kaixiang, founder of Shangyinian Amber told CEN.
Live e-commerce may help increase Pak jewellery’s popularity overseas
For Pakistani jewellers, to better benefit from the largest consumer market in the world, they probably need to get to understand e-commerce particularly live e-commerce’s pivotal role of in product sale and promotion in China.
“Increasing the use of e-commerce and other digital tools particularly live streaming is an innovative strategy that Pakistani businesses need to adopt. In China, e-commerce platforms are very popular and powerful in product sale, and live streaming is quite important in product promotion,” said Hussain Haider, Pakistani Consul General Shanghai in an interview with CEN.
Since COVID-19 pandemic breaks out, Chinese people have been converting to exploring various products from all over the country even the whole world from traders’ live streaming on e-shopping platforms like Taobao, JD and TikTok with their mobile phones, exceeding the limitation of time and space. Just by a click, the products they love will ‘fly’ to them soon.
A Chinese lady promotes jewellery products via live streaming with a mobile phone. Live e-commerce has become the ‘new normal’ in China. [Photo/CCTV]
“We’re also planning to start live streaming to make our products accessible to more people. We are going to present our products, share the culture behind them and the knowledge of jewellery care and maintance, etc. through live streaming, effectively complementary to offline shopping,” Aqeel said.
In 2020, the Chinese market size of live e-commerce hit 1.05 trillion yuan, expected to closely double in 2021, and China’s online transaction scale of jewellery in 2020 ranked fourth among the whole category of products, accounting for 8.43%, which is expected to continue to rise. Through live streaming, Pakistani jewellery will be known to more Chinese people, paving the way for a new high in sales in the future.
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