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Thread: Bai Jiu (Moutai)

  1. #61
    At 200 a bottle it might be better to become an ambassador and drink for free at all the parties you'll be invited to. Bet it is great. Maybe one day.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    $880HK = $113.55USD. That's steep for baijiu, but maybe I just haven't had top shelf baijiu yet.
    Not steep AT ALL for baijiu. I wouldn't even think that would be top shelf, I've seen a lot of more expensive bottles in shops.

    I've had some good baijiu, some I did not care for at all. Even within brands. One of the best and one of the worst baijiu I've had were both Erguotou.

    The key to drinking baijiu is food after every drink. You literally never drink some and not follow it up immediately with food. But some is really hard to like.

    Had some seventy percent traditional stuff made by an old guy in Zaozhuang who had a little shop on a mountain there, a bowl full. That was vicious stuff.

    Most baijiu falls around either 38% or 52%. Generally, if one has special company, the fancier brands fall in the 52% range, but that does not mean all 52% baijiu is considered quality.

    I have a Chinese friend who has to attend a lot of business meetings. I saw him give a young guy a lesson on how to not have to drink too much. Move your glass around too quickly whenever you toast to spill a little. Once others are snockered, toss it back over your shoulder if you can get away with it. Spill some of yours into the other guy's glass if possible.

    The most common excuse at meetings to not drink it is saying you have a cold, if you plan on having beer. If you don't plan on drinking, say you are taking medicine.

    In Shandong, it is traditional at special dinners to consider the first glass to be divided into seven toasts. I did not know this at first, and I was seriously just barely taking toasts. Which meant I had to down three quarters of a glass in my last toast. I thought we were done, but then come the personal toasts, where individuals among the hosting party toast some of the guests, my Chinese friends all refer to it as Sanda(yes, THAT sanda, though I think it's just a joke of theirs, not a common reference). After the third glass of baijiu, then they brought the beer out, for beer and wine, each small glass is considered one toast.

    I have no idea how much beer I had, that 3/4 glass of baijiu killed me and I really hadn't noticed that everyone was eating after every toast. The private room had an attached bathroom, and at some point I retired there to sell buicks(I can hold my liquor, but I am not generally a heavy drinker). This was the pinacle of the evening for the host, not because hurling is funny, but because it shows comeraderie, apparently.

    That said, I have not shown that much comeraderie since. On those occasions where I have an event where I will be drinking it, I usually have two glasses, plus one to three beers, depending on how long we're there.

    Only with my musician friends in Henan does it get more involved than that. Fortunately, they're getting slower nowadays. Plus, Henan does not seem to have as high an expectation of only drinking as toasts, so one can pace onesself a little more.

    To tie this in, in Henan, one of my musician friends is good friends with the lead fight coordinator for the Shaolin tour group, or at least the guy was the coordinator back in '07. Twice drank with him, he's not a monk. Also drank some in Chen village with some Chinese Chen style guys who live there. It's much more fun to drink with kung fu guys and musicians, no matter what country you're in, I find. In Zhumadian, the wife of one of my favorite Chen style teachers challenged me to a drinking game, huaquan, that I almost always won at solely by virtue of everyone freaking out at the laowai speaking chengyu. She utterly destroyed me. (No one really plays that game anymore, this was back in '07. It's actually an interesting thing, the game is all over, in Mongolia they once played it as well, it's a numbers game, in Chinese, people often use expressions during the game that include the number, but are more colorful than just blurting numbers, in Mongolia, they sang a snippet of Mongolian song that conveyed the number from what I've heard.)

    At a formal dinner, I do not drink red wine. If there are formal toasts, red wine, like beer, is expected to be one glass equals one toast. While I like red wine, I do not like guzzling it. Beer is safe, especially since most Chinese beers are weak.

    The word for if liquor burns your throat is la, for the record, though I don't think it's the same la as denotes spicy, I've never looked it up.

  3. #63
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    Well, there you go, FN. I'm not really a baijiu drinker.

    Most of the baijiu I've had hasn't been like that. It's been more like 'shine, truth be told. But that's all that was available around Shaolin back in the late 90s. Now they're probably drinking the good stuff.

    I thought this was trending, thus the launch of this thread. Here's some of financial back story.

    Baijiu set to storm 2017 - Analysis
    By Lucy Britner | 6 January 2017


    Diageo will relaunch its Shui jing Fang baijiu brand in China this year

    The world's two largest spirits companies (in profit terms) are both major players in China's baijiu category. While the past few years have proved challenging, 2017 is shaping up to be the year both Diageo and Kweichow Moutai catch a break.

    Immediately following the Chinese government's 2012 anti-extravagance campaign, Kweichow Moutai's stock began to drop, finally bottoming out at the start of 2014. Meanwhile, the measures hit Diageo and its near-40% stake in baijiu producer Shuijingfang. In 2014, Diageo was forced to take a GBP264m (then-US$446m) write-down on the asset.

    Last year, however, things began to look up. In October, Diageo's Greater China and Asia president Sam Fischer told analysts the category "is now stable". He also said the baijiu category is expected to grow mid-single digits.

    "In the last reported period Shuijingfang was the fastest growing baijiu company in China and net sales were up strong double digits," he added.

    As with Cognac, baijiu has needed to diversify to attract new consumers. Fischer described different growth rates across different segments. "I'm expecting the standard baijiu to be growing at about 3% into the medium term," he said in October. "We think that super-premium baijiu is going to grow at 4-5% - and the premium baijiu, which is a real sweet spot for at-home consumers."

    Meanwhile, an article in this week's Financial Times hailed a rebounding Moutai the world's second-most-valuable spirits company in the world - after Diageo. According to the FT, Moutai's stock has been rising at a steady pace. "The company reported a 19% year-on-year rise in revenue in 2016, with net profit up more than 7%," the newspaper said.

    The report follows a note from Bernstein last month, which said the profits gap between the two companies has been getting smaller.

    "We note that over the years, Moutai has slowly reduced the gap in total profits with Diageo, even during the severe decline in premium spirits consumption in China," said Bernstein. "Two years ago, the gap in profits between the top two players by profitability was more than US$1bn, whereas in 2015 the gap has shrunk to approximately $370m."

    Not one to rest on its laurels, Diageo has big plans for 2017 with the relaunch of Shuijingfang's super premium core variant. Fischer said the move would "bring to life its quality and heritage".

    "We have a clear roadmap to continue to enhance our route to consumer using local city distributors," he added. "I have ambitious expectations for our baijiu brand and I expect it to continue to lead industry growth."

    It looks like Cognac is not the only category to be enjoying a comeback in China.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #64
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    Kweichow Moutai's classic Feitian = 2,000 yuan ($290)

    Premium Baijiu Prices Soar for the Holidays
    Krista Melgarejo | Jan 30, 2017 08:40 AM EST


    Vats of locally made wine called baijiu are seen at a distillery on the Chishui River, on Sept. 23, 2016, in Maotai, Guizhou Province, China. (Photo : Getty Images)

    While baijiu is widely known as one of the expensive Chinese liquors in the market, prices for this drink have soared in some retail stores just before Chinese New Year. Industry insiders share that the sector is yet to fully recover.
    In some stores in Beijing, a 500ml bottle of Kweichow Moutai's classic Feitian 53 percent alcohol is being sold for as much as 2,000 yuan ($290). This an increase of almost 40 percent compared to a few weeks back. Meanwhile, if you try buying the same bottle online, you can get it for as low as 1,288 yuan on JD.com.
    According to analysts, the greater demand for the premium liquor during the Spring Festival coupled by the limited supplies caused the surge in prices.
    Premium baijiu is an extremely profitable business. It is estimated that the top four baijiu producers in China account for 27 percent of earnings before interest and taxes of the global spirits industry.
    "With more disposable income, consumers are willing to spend more, and their mindset is to buy liquors when prices are going up," shared Ding, a distributor from the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. He added that despite the recovery, the prices haven't rebounded to the levels before the government's austerity drive and anti-graft campaign.
    Retail store prices for baijiu in 2012 have peaked above 2,000 yuan. It dropped to 1,800 in early 2013 then decreased later to 1,200 before stabilizing at about 1,000 yuan.
    "After a few years of market volatility, the baijiu, or white spirits, industry is gradually recovering, and the demand has expanded as consumer spending has risen," said Wang Chonglin, deputy manager of Kweichow Moutai Co.
    The baijiu sector has helped drive stock gain this year, leading the country's consumer staples stocks. With things going quite well for this sector, baijiu continues to attract investors because of its stability amid the volatile situation in the markets.
    With how things are going in the spirits market, the baijiu sector will definitely be able to gain ground and recover from the effects of market volatility in the previous years.
    I really must try some of this top shelf Moutai. I have an old bottle in my cabinet that was gifted to me maybe two decades ago. Wonder what that's worth...
    Gene Ching
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  5. #65
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    Moutai ganbei!



    RisingTones
    Moutai Thanks Hit Movie ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ for Free Advertising
    Patriotic action flick has broken China’s all-time box office record.
    Zhang Liping

    Aug 08, 2017

    Chinese box office hit “Wolf Warrior 2” has received a thank-you letter from the president of Kweichow Moutai, the country’s most famous brand of liquor, because of the hero’s propensity to take long swigs of the drink in-between saving the people around him.

    The movie, which premiered July 27, tells the story of a former People’s Liberation Army soldier protecting Chinese citizens and local factory workers in an African war zone.

    The patriotic overtones have proven popular with audiences. As of Tuesday, “Wolf Warrior 2” has earned more than 3.4 billion yuan ($507 million), breaking China’s all-time box office record, set last year by Hong Kong comedy “The Mermaid.” Wu Jing, 43, both starred in and directed “Wolf Warrior 2,” whose prequel earned 525 million yuan in 2015.

    On Monday, Yuan Renguo, president of Kweichow Moutai Co. Ltd., congratulated Wu on his success in an open letter on the company’s website. “The movie has hit a new record and become a phenomenon,” Yuan wrote. “The movie is now synonymous with patriotism.”

    Kweichow Moutai’s brand of liquor, a premium type of baijiu, or Chinese sorghum liquor, appears in the movie four times. The drink is given about a minute of screen time in total — advertising that the company did not pay for, Yuan said in his letter.

    “Your free placement of Moutai, the national liquor, in the movie has once more allowed this famous Chinese brand to impress the world,” Yuan wrote.


    A still frame from the film ‘Wolf Warrior II’ shows actor Wu Jing drinking Moutai liquor.

    Kweichow Moutai was once favored by Chinese officials but saw its sales drop following President Xi Jinping’s campaign against government extravagance, which launched in 2013. But the liquor maker has started to make a comeback this year: While the company’s production levels have not yet fully recovered, its stock price is on the rise.

    Yuan also added that the company had organized screenings of the film for its 30,000 employees, which he said boosted their feelings of nationalism and “company cohesion.”

    Many moviegoers also said they were impressed by the patriotic plot of “Wolf Warrior 2.” Tong Yemeng, a 32-year-old office worker from Beijing, told Sixth Tone that she watched the film because of positive reviews from her colleagues and on social media. “I felt so moved and proud of my country when I saw Wu Jing waving the national flag in the war zone,” she said. “It showed our increasing national power.”

    Kong Mingzhe, a film enthusiast from Shanghai, told Sixth Tone that the patriotism of “Wolf Warrior 2” was not as over-the-top as in other movies. “Since we are still 20 years behind Hollywood action movies,” he said, “it’s good to see we have such a movie today.”

    The movie’s patriotic success can be attributed to its timing, Qian Lijun, a Beijing-based marketing executive, told Sixth Tone. He pointed out that “Wolf Warrior 2” hit cinemas as India and China were involved in a border dispute, as the central government is promoting its international Belt and Road Initiative, and as the People’s Liberation Army celebrated its 90th anniversary.

    Qian theorized that the movie serves as an outlet for people’s nationalistic feelings. “Otherwise, it wouldn’t have such a big impact,” he said.

    Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

    (Header image: A still frame from the film ‘Wolf Warrior 2’ shows actor Wu Jing shooting at his enemies. IC)
    I missed Baijiu day (8/9 = ba jiu) this year but maybe I can celebrate by just watching Wolf Warrior 2?
    Gene Ching
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  6. #66
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    Pi Jiu vs. Bai Jiu

    Beer or baijiu? China’s drinkers become more quality conscious
    Experts say the domestic beer market has dropped significantly by volume. But higher-quality brands and sales of traditional Chinese clear liquor, or baijiu, are bubbling away nicely
    PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 6:48pm
    UPDATED : Friday, 13 October, 2017, 6:58pm
    Laura He
    laura.he@scmp.com



    Asahi Group, Japan’s largest beer producer, is considering bailing out of its share in Tsingtao, one of China’s largest beer makers, in another clear sign that Chinese drinkers are moving upmarket.
    Experts say the domestic beer market has dropped significantly by volume, as buyers opting to cut back on cheaper products. But higher-quality beer brands and sales of traditional Chinese clear liquor, or baijiu, are bubbling away nicely.
    Total national beer production has seen three straight years of declines, before slightly rebounding 0.8 per cent in the first seven months of this year, according to recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
    As those overall sales fall, however, demand for quality lager (imported and local), and traditional liquor such as Moutai, have continued strong.


    A worker checks bottles of Tsingtao beer on the production line of Tsingtao plant in China's eastern port city of Qingdao, Shandong province. The company is shifting its emphasis towards selling premium versions of the product. Photo: Reuters

    Kweichow Moutai, the country’s biggest premium baijiu producer, toasted first-half gross profit margins of 90 per cent giving it a market value of nearly 700 billion yuan (US$106.4 billion).
    Asahi, Tsingtao’s second largest shareholder with a 19.99 stake, is considering the transfer of all or part of its 270 million H shares, the Chinese brewer said in an exchange filing Thursday night.
    Asahi’s holding was worth about US$1.2 billion by Friday’s market close. In 2009, the company spent US$667 million acquiring the stock.
    In a Bloomberg interview earlier this year, Asahi President Akiyoshi Koji noted Tsingtao’s “worsened” earnings result and said “ownership without control doesn’t make much sense”.
    The Post asked both parties for further comment on the reason for the sale, but neither offered anything more than what was in the filing, that Asahi was looking at its “own business arrangement consideration”.
    Tsingtao share price has fallen 4 per cent in the past six months – as the Hang Seng jumped 17 per cent in the same period – and has halved compared with the beginning of 2014.


    Workers pack bottles of baijiu in Kweichow Moutai Company in Maotai town, Guizhou province. Photo: EPA

    Shares in Kweichow Moutai, meanwhile, hit a new all-time high close of 556.49 yuan on Friday in Shanghai, pushing its yearly gains to 70 per cent, making it among the world’s most valuable liquor brands. The stock has increased more than fourfold in value compared since the beginning of 2014.
    “Beer demand is sluggish as China’s population continues ageing. Cheap lagers, which account for more than 70 per cent of total sales, are becoming less popular,” said Iris Zhang, an analyst for Guotai Junan Securities.
    Tsingtao reported 30 and 14 per cent declines in net profits, respectively in 2016 and 2015. For the first half of this year, however, net income grew 7 per cent as the company shifted to selling more premium products, inside and outside the country.
    Beer demand is sluggish as China’s population continues ageing. Cheap lagers, which account for more than 70 per cent of total sales, are becoming less popular
    IRIS ZHANG, AN ANALYST FOR GUOTAI JUNAN SECURITIES
    “Growth potential is limited for the beer market in future,” Zhang said. “Companies can no longer expand by offering just low prices.”
    At the same time the higher-margin liquor market is raking in the profits, growing those as a grouping by 9.2 per cent, according to the NBS.
    Kweichow Moutai’s interim net profit jumped 28 per cent to 11.3 billion yuan, with gross profit margin at 90 per cent.
    Earlier this year, Nielsen China’s Minnie Yu said in a report that “consumption upgrade” has become the major driving force for China’s liquor market.
    “As consumption becomes the main driver of the economy, competition among FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands is also intensifying, much like the liquor market.”
    Not a big Bai Jiu fan but I've had to cut back on my beer consumption because of the carbs.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #67
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    bottoms up!

    Dang. I should've invested. All the signs were right here, posted right on this forum thread.

    China stocks climb to a 22-month high as liquor juggernaut Moutai surges to record
    Liquor maker Kweichow Moutai jumps most since August 2015 in Shanghai after reporting a 60 per cent profit increase
    PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 9:27am
    UPDATED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 10:19pm
    Zhang Shidong


    Shares of Kweichow Moutai locked in their biggest gains in more than two year, buoyed by increased sales and a huge profit surge in the third quarter. Photo: Martin Chan

    Mainland China stocks rose for a fifth day, pushing the benchmark index to an almost 22-month high, as consumer companies jumped after liquor giant Kweichow Moutai reported accelerating profit growth.
    The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 per cent, or 15.55 points, to 3,412.45 at the midday break, set for the highest close since December 2015. The CSI 300 Index of big-cap companies rallied 0.8 per cent, while the ChiNext gauge of smaller firms, added 0.2 per cent. Hong Kong’s equity benchmark dropped slightly.
    Kweichow Moutai, the nation’s most valuable liquor maker, said in its quarterly report that profits increased 60 per cent from a year earlier in the first three nine months, compared with the 28 per cent growth rate in the first half. Its accelerated earnings growth further bolstered local traders’ confidence in continuing to bet on large leading companies across industries that are reasonably priced and offer solid earnings outlook.
    The preference for big-cap shares has driven up the CSI 300 Index by 21 per cent this year, while keeping the ChiNext measure flat with a 2.3 per cent drop.
    “Moutai’s results are a surprise and beat the market expectations by a large margin,” said Dai Ming, a fund manager at Hengsheng Asset Management in Shanghai. “That will further stoke the interest in blue-chip stocks and expand their valuations. The broader market will probably continue to rise with the help of big-caps.”


    Kweichow Moutai gained the most in more than two years after it reported a 60 per cent surge in profit for the first nine months. Photo: Imaginechina

    Kweichow Moutai surged 6.1 per cent to a record high of 600 yuan, heading for the biggest gain since August 2015. Trading volumes on the stock were more than five times its 180-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
    Its third-quarter earnings jumped 138 per cent from a year ago to 8.7 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion), exceeding the median estimate of 5.1 billion yuan based on Bloomberg data.
    Overseas investors bought a total of 3.03 million shares in the company through the stock connect scheme in the third quarter, while China Securities Finance, a state-backed agency seen as the nation’s stabilisation fund, cut its holdings by 5.15 million shares in the period, according to Moutai’s quarterly report.
    A gauge tracking Moutai and other consumer staples stocks on the CSI 300 climbed 3.5 per cent to an all-time high today. Wuliangye Yibin, the nation’s second-largest liquor maker, gained 4.4 per cent to 65.78 yuan in Shenzhen, and Shanxi Xinghuacun Fen Wine Factory added 3.9 per cent to 57.01 yuan after saying profit surged 79 per cent in the first three quarters.
    In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index fell 0.1 per cent, or 45.72 points, to 28,257.17 at noon. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, or the H-share gauge, slipped less than 0.1 per cent.
    Sands China and Geely Automobile Holdings were the worst performers on the benchmark, declining at least 1.4 per cent for the day.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #68
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    Offering a course is different than offering a degree.

    I was debating about separating Moutai into an indie thread from this Baijiu thread because while Moutai is a form of Baijiu (like Johnnie Walker is a form of whiskey), it's a specific brand. But then I decided to just add Moutai to the thread title.



    EXHALE
    In China, you can now earn a degree by learning to make the country’s national drink
    By Benjamin Pineros
    TODAY

    A new university in Renhuai, China is offering a whole course devoted to making Moutai (or Maotai), the country’s national liquor. Their motto? “Love me mao-tai, earn glory for the country.”
    Maotai or Moutai is a brand of baijiu, a distilled Chinese liquor (spirit), made in the town of Maotai in China’s Guizhou province.

    Behind the curious initiative is the partially state-owned company Kweichow Moutai, which, according to CNN Money, recently surpassed Diageo (the owner of Johnnie Walker) as the world’s most valuable liquor firm.

    The company is one of China’s most profitable businesses, specialising in the production of the Maotai liquor, a popular Chinese drink distilled from the grain sorghum with a whopping alcohol content of 53 per cent.

    Originating during the Qing Dynasty, Moutai is considered in the country as a high-end “drink of diplomacy” and is used as the go-to gift on special occasions, family reunions and business deals.

    In fact, the eye-wateringly strong beverage was famously offered to Richard Nixon on his historic trip to China in 1972.



    The Kweichow Moutai company hit a record revenue of $7.6 billion this quarter, which researchers say is partly due to a new strategy which has seen it lower prices to make the drink more affordable to a wider, younger consumer base.

    The Kweichow Moutai Group has invested more than $290 million dollars into this university project, and according to local broadcaster CCTV, the university has around 300 teachers and a pool of renowned industry experts.

    The educational centre will offer five majors including wine-making and food quality and safety. They will only take 600 students from the local province of Guangzhou at first, but they plan to open their 32-acre campus to students from all over the country in a year or so.

    This unusual career offering is actually not that unconventional in China. Other universities around the mainland offer wacky degrees like Research Into Lotteries at the Beijing Normal University or Science Of Hot Noodles at Yunnan Normal University.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #69
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    Booze in China

    I've had many Chinese beers and found them to be pretty decent in China - surprisingly good considering that I'm no fan of Tsingtao.

    I've also had Chinese wine, which was horrid. My first trip to China was to compete in a tournament sponsored by a Chinese winemaker. They did traditional Chinese wine and this western red wine. That was before I developed a taste for Chinese liquor, and I'm Californian, so even though I'm not much of a wine drinker, we dubbed all those as godawful.

    Baijiu is a whole other story.

    China's drinking habits are changing, and that's a big opportunity for beverage makers
    Chinese consumers are drinking pricier, more elusive alcoholic beverages
    Craft beer is popular in well-developed, urban cities
    Kweichow Moutai, a high-end brand for a potent traditional liquor, surpassed Johnnie Walker-maker Diageo in value
    Huileng Tan | @huileng_tan
    Published 16 Hours Ago
    CNBC.com

    The market for Chinese alcohol sales is growing at a rapid pace with consumers acquiring a taste for premium and elusive products.

    Among the beneficiaries of the trend are wine and craft beers.

    "Chinese consumers preferred to drink less and chose premium products at business dinners or during formal social occasions for their high-grade quality and better taste," market research firm Euromonitor said in May 2017.

    According to Euromonitor, wine consumption grew 5.3 percent by volume in 2016 from 2015, even as that for alcoholic drinks fell 3 percent in the same period as consumers traded up.

    As a result of such upgrading, total beer sales also declined by 4 percent in 2016 from a year ago. Craft beer however, is witnessing growing interest in big cities.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, is evidence of this trend as its strategy of focusing on the high-end of the market appears to be paying off: The company's revenue in China grew 4.6 percent in the third quarter.

    The brewer also cited strong numbers in the Chinese market as a driver for revenue growth in its Budweiser and Corona brands in the first half of this year. Corona and Stella Artois, classified as "super premium" brands by the company, have recorded double-digit growth since they were launched in 2014, CEO Carlos Brito told CNBC recently.

    Here's a sip of what Chinese drinkers are ordering:

    Craft Beer

    China's first brewery was founded in Harbin in 1900 and there are now more than 1,500 domestic beer brands in the country, according to Chinese state media.

    The wide selection is in part due to a nascent but growing industry in craft beers as a burgeoning middle class becomes more willing to pay for premium experiences.

    The popularity of craft beer may seem explosive in urban centers, but Euromonitor puts the trend into perspective.

    "Craft beer is still a new concept for many Chinese consumers. It is popular and distributed mainly in well-developed regions, such as some urban areas of the country where the middle-classes are better off and consumers are global-minded," said the research house in its industry report.


    Huileng Tan | CNBC
    Panda Brew Pub in Beijing is home to several house craft beers. The company recently started shipping its brews to the U.K. and are looking to other beer-drinking markets eager for a taste of China.

    "There is a huge rise in the number of those in the craft beer business and the brewing culture is spreading in China," said Feng Jun, marketing director for pub and brewer Panda Brew.

    The craft beer market is diverse, even though consumer groups are generally young, Feng told CNBC in an email.

    "There are extreme taste preferences: from those who prefer heavier tastes to fresh, fruity flavors," he added.

    With the explosion in selection, some craft beer brands like Panda Brew, have started exporting their drinks.

    In November this year, Panda Brew started sales in the U.K. It is also looking into entering other markets such as Canada, Japan and Australia, said Feng.

    Even bigger brands are getting into the craft beer business.

    Nomura in a December note highlighted that Hong Kong-listed China Resources Beer, the country's largest brewery, will be focusing on craft and imported beer segments while developing premium brands.

    Wine
    Wine is still gaining popularity in China.

    To cater to the collective thirst, Chinese investors have snapped up more than 100 vineyards in France, many of them in the producing region of Bordeaux. They've also acquired vineyards in Australia and Chile, among other countries.

    Earlier this year, for instance, Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine, a leading wine-maker in China, bought three vineyards in Chile.

    China has also started producing its own wines: State-owned food giant COFCO's Great Wall Wine is a recognizable name in the country.

    Baijiu
    The potent grain-based baijiu — which means white liquor — is a staple at official and business banquets. Even amid a widespread crackdown on corruption, a frugality drive, and it being an acquired taste, baijiu has seen it's demand stay strong.


    VCG | Getty Images
    A customer looks Maotai liquor at a supermarket on February 9, 2015 in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province of China.

    Earlier this year, consultancy Brand Finance deemed baijiu to be the most valuable type of spirit in the world with a market share of 37.5 percent, overshadowing the 28 percent for whiskey. The world's top baijiu brands command a combined value of over $22 billion, the study said.

    Well-known Hong Kong-listed Kweichow Moutai has overtaken Johnnie Walker-maker Diageo to become the world's most valuable liquor company.

    —CNBC's Ming Cheang contributed to this story.
    Now I'm thinking there's got to be a cocktail name for slamming a shot of Moutai into a Panda beer - sort of a PRC Irish Car bomb. What would we call that?

    Thread: Baijiu
    Thread: Beer
    Gene Ching
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  10. #70
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    Baijiu College

    Asia & Pacific
    China’s new booze university wants to change how Americans drink


    A student smells baijiu samples at a baijiu tasting class in Sichuan University of Science and Engineering. (Luna Lin/For The Washington Post)

    By Danielle Paquette October 19 at 9:31 AM
    YIBIN, China — China’s mission to protect its economy now includes a college where the students study booze.

    This $58 million school — built in nine months and so new that plastic still covers the surveillance cameras — is one outpost in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s national push to rethink the country’s growth recipe as trade frictions with the United States intensify.

    Beijing aims to produce more goods at home and sell larger numbers abroad, ordering farmers to ramp up soybean production and chipmakers to purchase local copper while earmarking billions to advance domestic technology.

    The state-funded Baijiu College in the misty Sichuan mountains teaches youngsters how to craft its namesake grain spirit — or work on robots that could someday automate the brewing process. The goal is to turn China’s native liquor into the next whiskey or tequila or gin: a drink with global recognition.

    Outsiders, though, can be stunned by baijiu’s customary burn. Journalist Dan Rather once dubbed it “liquid razor blades.’’

    Students like Luo Meixin, however, believe in the spirit’s potential.


    Students take a baijiu tasting class at Sichuan University of Science and Engineering in Sichuan, China. (Sichuan University of Science and Engineering)

    The 19-year-old chemistry ace with bottle-shaped earrings has forsaken hot peppers and gardenia-scented shampoo to preserve her sense of smell. One recent morning, she lifted a plastic tester cup of baijiu to her nose. Is this one appropriately fruity? Or too bland?

    “The smell is so great,” she said, grinning.

    [Trump’s new North American trade deal aimed at bigger target: China]

    Luo and her roughly 2,400 classmates are learning how to distill, inspect and market baijiu in the humid Sichuan region, whose history is as tied to the spirit as Kentucky’s is to bourbon.

    A day before her late September tasting class, the Chinese president met with farmworkers in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, preaching the merits of independence.

    “Unilateralism and protectionism in the world are on the rise and force us to rely on ourselves,” Xi told them.

    The deepening commercial battle with the United States has only accelerated China’s drive to reduce reliance on the American market, especially in technology. Expanding exports in all sectors — including baijiu — is viewed as essential to offset losses from a protracted trade dispute with the White House.

    Xi’s message on the front page of state newspapers last month came after Washington and Beijing slapped each other with the largest round of tariffs yet, placing punitive duties on roughly half of their traded goods.

    Luo, a native of sleepy Yibin, said she feels called to help her country.

    She is one of the first 32 students in China training to become an “international baijiu sommelier” and wants to teach foreign drinkers about her favorite beverage, made from sorghum, rice and other grains.

    “I hope all of the world can know it, smell it, drink it,” Luo said.

    At Wuliangye, the region’s biggest government-backed brand — and major benefactor to the Baijiu College — more than 50,000 employees work to brew the spirit in factories that resemble giant barns.

    Above them tower dozens of statues. There’s the 50-foot goddess of rice wine, promoting a bountiful harvest with a “W” for Wuliangye on her golden crown. A hulking shark with a fish in his jaws, reminding workers they must top the food chain. And a 100-foot bottle of baijiu — just because.

    The trade war doesn’t scare Zheng Jia, deputy director of Wuliangye’s technology research center. The company, which posted $4.4 billion in sales last year, grows its grains on 165,000 acres of Sichuan land — no imported goods necessary. If tariffs raise the cost of American liquor in China, meanwhile . . .

    “It could be a good opportunity for us,” he said. “I expect the sales will only increase.”

    The brand is also forging partnerships abroad. Wuliangye recently teamed up with the Austrian crystal maker Swarovski to create wedding-themed baijiu bottles, including one shaped like a diamond ring. It is also concocting a variety that tastes like whiskey to entice Western palettes.

    The international focus follows a local shift.

    After Xi launched his anti-corruption campaign in 2012, China’s baijiu makers pivoted away from bottles that cost hundreds of dollars — a favorite among China’s business and political elite — and rebranded the beverage as a drink for the people.

    The volume sold since then has swelled between 10 percent and 20 percent every year, said Luo Huibo, director of the Baijiu College. Such growth caused a labor shortage, he added, and the spirit can’t ascend internationally without a surge of fresh talent.

    “We are trying to share our best with the world,” Luo said.

    The school is developing an English dictionary of baijiu terms so Western drinkers can learn how to order different styles. Some taste like soy sauce or sesame, for instance, while others invoke “fiery pineapple.”

    More forms of outreach include sending baijiu to England’s royal family — but not yet the White House — and conducting informal tastings at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles. (The bartender prominently displayed his free bottle of Wuliangye, according to one staffer’s iPhone photos.)

    Most students at the Baijiu College study a foreign language — the most popular are English and Japanese. They describe their passion for drinking as a national duty.

    In the bright white tasting lab, a couple of dozen silently smell and sip the spirit in five tester cups. Then they spit it into buckets to stay sober.

    Lei Xingyue, a 19-year-old from a nearby city, said he has loved baijiu since boyhood. His family saw the drink as a tradition to cherish.

    “When I was seven years old,” he said, “my father told me, ‘You must learn how to drink it.’”

    Lei wants to become a brewer because many of his province’s 200-plus factories are hiring. He can make good money, he said, in a socially responsible way.

    “Our country needs more people to make better baijiu,” he said.

    Baijiu jobs that require college degrees pay up to $30,000 a year, more than three times the average Chinese income, the school’s director said.

    For Luo, who carries a baijiu-patterned purse to match her bottle earrings, the sense of purpose was more attractive. The drink doesn’t just lift your mood, she said: It could also be a force for peace.

    “I think this, part of our culture, could be a way to connect with others,” she said. “Connect with Americans.”

    Luna Lin contributed to this report.
    “international baijiu sommelier” - never thought I'd hear that term.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #71
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    Not sure how much stake I'd put in this article...

    ...for someone propounding to be an expert on China business, how could he be surprised by the expansion of Moutai this late in the game?

    The Mysterious Liquor of China's Elite Spotted in Chicago
    By Vic Lederman
    From DailyWealth
    JULY 26, 2019

    I wasn't expecting this at all. But there I was... And there it was.

    I was in the middle of America's heartland. And I was looking at a symbol of China's expanding influence.

    You see, I was passing through Chicago O'Hare International Airport. It was early. And most of the shops were closed. But the duty-free was open (it always is).

    If you've been through there, you know passengers are funneled through the duty-free shops on their way to the gates in Terminal 5. It guarantees you get the opportunity to buy something tax-free.

    Well, I wasn't in much of a buying mood. But something did catch my eye...

    You might not recognize it, but below is an advertisement for Kweichow Moutai. Take a look...



    It's the drink of choice for China's wealthy, powerful, and elite. And this reputation has made Kweichow Moutai the most valuable liquor company in the world.

    This alcohol you probably haven't heard of represents the largest stock in mainland China. That's right... Kweichow Moutai is at the very top of the MSCI China A Index. But there's more...

    Every company on that index is in front of an ocean of cash that's flowing into China, thanks to global index provider MSCI's inclusion of local Chinese shares. It's a story of massive growth. And it's one Steve has covered in DailyWealth many times.

    So Kweichow Moutai isn't just an obscure drink. It's a symbol of China's growth into the world around it.

    Now, you might be wondering, "What makes it so special?"

    Well, I need to start with a disclosure. I haven't tasted the stuff. But oddly enough, Steve has...

    As regular readers know, Steve doesn't drink much. And to him, it tasted like fire. The flavor, people say, is one that would be considered "acquired."

    It's no wonder Kweichow Moutai was hot going down for Steve... It's a grain alcohol, measuring in at 106-proof. It's said to have notes of pear, walnut, almond, and – of all things – soy sauce. The company itself claims Kweichow Moutai has 155 distinct aromas.

    So it's probably not America's next hit party drink. But seeing it for sale in Illinois, with signage in Chinese, isn't something the average American would expect.

    As I said, it's another sign of China's expanding influence...

    Think about it. Have you traveled outside of the U.S.? You'll usually see plenty of signs in English... and vendors selling stuff U.S. tourists love to take home.

    We're used to living in a world that caters to the U.S. And the world still does that. But it's not just about the U.S. anymore.

    There were more signs with Chinese on them at O'Hare than just the ads for Kweichow Moutai... Many of the advertisements were sporting Chinese translations of their English slogans.

    Much of this is driven simply by China's scale. It has a population of 1.4 billion. And thanks to huge economic growth, these folks are getting wealthier at a staggering pace. Take a look...



    The chart shows how China's gross domestic product (GDP) has grown over the last couple of decades. It's a measure of a nation's economic output. But we can use it as a proxy for the rising wealth of that nation's citizens.

    There's no question China's citizens are getting wealthier. And the pace of this growth is unlike anything the world has seen before.

    It's been 30 years since China opened its doors to private business. Now, the country is home to nearly one in five of the world's billionaires. But it's not just the super wealthy who have benefited. The rise of China's plain old rich – and the middle class – has been astronomical as well.

    You'll notice that the U.S. looks like it's standing still by comparison. A lot of that is because China had a lot of catching up to do. But the fact remains, Chinese citizens have more money today than they ever have before... And people with money travel.

    So it's no wonder we're starting to see advertisements follow their audience. If wealthy Chinese are visiting Chicago, you'd better bet vendors there want to sell them Kweichow Moutai.

    It's the drink that symbolizes power and influence, after all. And in this case, it illustrates that China's influence is expanding... to the rest of the world.

    Good investing,

    Vic Lederman
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  12. #72
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    Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture by Derek Sandhaus

    This looks like a fun read.

    Drunk in China goes on a baijiu bender and asks is ganbei culture dying out?
    Author Derek Sandhaus examines the country’s long history and present relationship with alcohol
    A disapproving Xi Jinping and growing preference for international tipples have seen baijiu sales drop
    Mike Cormack
    Published: 9:09am, 28 Nov, 2019


    A reception to launch Kweichow Moutai, one of the best-known brands of baijiu, to the Russian market, in 2015. Photo: Alamy

    Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture
    by Derek Sandhaus
    University of Nebraska Press
    4/5 stars

    Baijiu is one of the biggest challenges Chinese culture offers to foreigners, who often describe it as “gut-rot”, “engine-cleaner” or in even less positive terms. Yet the distilled grain alcohol belongs to a drinking culture that goes back thousands of years.
    The boom times that followed the opening of China’s economy produced some of the world’s largest liquor companies. The Kweichow Moutai Groupis worth more than British multinational Diageo, which produces Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness.
    Author Derek Sandhaus takes the reader through both his own personal journey with baijiu – and his determination to break past the 300 glasses it allegedly takes to appreciate the drink, in comparison with 10 for beer – and China’s long history with alcohol in general: “As long as there has been a Chinese identity, there has been a Chinese drinking culture,” he write


    Author Derek Sandhaus.

    Sandhaus has much to say about China’s drinking culture, its ancient and modern distilling methods, industry practices, and what the future may hold. He is an ideal guide – genial, humorous, self-deprecating.
    Drunk in China starts with Sandhaus’ own story. Much of which will be familiar to those who have visited China: the initial suspicion of baijiu followed by that first big drinking session (in which he “passed the bottle and perpetuated the cycle of violence”).
    His time spent living in Shanghai and then Chengdu propels him to the drink, following an induction with “Scandinavian baijiu mag*nate” Johan, who ran a joint venture with Vin & Spirit (producer of Absolut Vodka). From there his journey becomes something of a quest as he seeks to learn as much as he can about baijiuand visits the main production centres across the nation.
    The history of alcohol in China stretches back millen*nia: traces have been found in pottery from a settlement in Jiahu, Henan province, dating back to between 7,000BC and 5,800BC, making it the oldest alcohol ever docu*mented. (Previously it was thought fermentation had been discovered in the Near East or the Caucasus.)
    He notes the shift from hunting and gathering to settled agricultural communities in China may have been prompted by the desire for regular supplies of the fruit and cereals needed for early fermentation: the “beer-before-bread” theory. Even more remarkably, rice may have been used to make alcohol long before it became a staple food.
    “Distilled spirits attacked China like a virus. A radical new element injected into a closed system, it was initially contained and unnoticed. Later it adapted to its host, spread with great rapidity, and mutated. It kept mutating, over and over, until it was no longer recognisable. It had become something new altogether. Baijiu is not an Eastern drink, nor is it a Western drink. Baijiu is fusion. It is what happens when more than seven thousand years of wine*making tradition gets a technological kick in the a**.”
    The first clear description of Chinese methods of distil*la*tion dates back to the 15th century – unusually late given its discovery perhaps 800 years earlier, in Persia. However, there are suggestions of distillation by the 13th century, during the time of Marco Polo, who noted a Chinese wine that was “clear, bright and pleasant to the taste, and [...] has the quality of inebriating sooner than any other”.
    By then, distillation had been adapted from Mongolian methods, and each town and village developed their own recipes and brands. This was not so much a matter of local pride as it was necessity: transplant*ing recipes even a few kilometres away, using exactly the same materials, resulted in a differ*ent product: the essence is in the air as much as the ingredients.
    This resulted in a huge array of products when baijiu, and specifically the Beijing variety erguotou, became the national drink after the 1949 revolution. State takeovers of distilleries regulated supply and reduced innovation, but the economic take-off in the 1980s resulted in dramatic increases in demand and a new set of problems.
    The rigours of production meant supply could not keep up, and so knock-offs increased and quality declined, leading to renewed government intervention. (Fake booze dates back longer than this, Sandhaus notes: “Nineteenth-century liquor sellers in Beijing were notorious for cutting their products with arsenic and pigeon dung.”)


    A bottle of Kweichow Moutai. Photo: Alamy

    For a certain demographic, high prices were part of the appeal, given the importance of premium brands in gift-giving. A bottle of Kweichou Moutai’s flagship Flying Fairy brand soared to more than US$250, though in 2011, it was suggested that 90 per cent of all bottles sold were counterfeit.
    Sandhaus’ section on the health impact of “ganbei culture” and the response from the medical sector – or lack of it – is particularly interesting. Many people will have heard stories of officials dying after excessive toasting, but the volume of incidents suggests harm on an almost industrial scale. For example, during the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival holidays in 2012, “Chinese media reported that more than 100 people were hospitalised for alcohol poisoning in a single city”.
    Perhaps even worse is that alcoho*lism in China is seen as a moral failing rather than a health issue, and yet to refuse a toast is all but impossible. As Sandhaus points out, the profile of baijiu drinkers is remarkably narrow, consumption being largely limited to professional and official occasions.
    While that gives the drink its cachet, it could also be its downfall. The ascension of Xi Jinping in 2012 heralded a marked decline in sales as conspicuous consumption was strictly, and lastingly, prohibited. And as young Chinese aren’t big consumers of baijiu either, preferring beer, wine and foreign spirits, the tipple’s glory days appear to be over.
    This has forced the baijiu industry to diversify. There’s a new dynamism in how Chinese firms are selling the drink: baijiu cocktail bars in New York, an annual World Baijiu Day declared for August 9, lighter brands to appeal to women, and overseas sales and renewed joint ventures.
    But Sandhaus writes, “Baijiu has always been an international drink. There is much of it in the liquors of the world and vice versa. Recognising it is only a matter of perspective.”
    Drunk in China is highly enjoyable for its depth and breadth, for its human interest and historical knowledge, its rigour, humour and intelligence. Sandhaus points out that English-language writing on baijiu or on alcohol in China in general, is scant, which is curious, given that alcohol is one of the abiding fascinations of most cultures.
    Sandhaus’ book can stand alongside other alcohol-related releases such as Everyday Drinking (1983), by Kingsley Amis, and Raw Spirit (2003), by Iain Banks. More importantly, perhaps, this is bound to become the go-to guide on how China’s national drink is produced, con*sumed and marketed, charting its history, culture and effects.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  13. #73
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    WSJ article

    The Liquor Everyone’s Buying—Even People Who Can’t Stand It


    Moutai, a potent, clear spirit is a status symbol, though many find it tough to swallow; ‘very much like ethanol’
    Bottles of Moutai, a Chinese type of liquor, are a hot item in China. IMAGINECHINA/ZUMA PRESS

    Oct. 31, 2019 5:54 pm ET

    China’s Kweichow Moutai Co. has become the world’s most valuable liquor company thanks to a fiery spirit that can cost nearly $400 a bottle.


    Gan bei!

    The spirit is baijiu, a Chinese liquor made by fermenting sorghum or other grains in brick or mud pits. The company’s version, known simply as Moutai, has a long association with China’s Communist leaders, and has become a homegrown status symbol for affluent Chinese.

    One drawback: many people can’t stand it.

    The taste is “very much like ethanol,” said Jenny Miao, a 26-year-old market researcher in Shanghai. At dinners with clients, she said she sometimes has to toast with Moutai, but will then drink water to wash away the aftertaste.

    Moutai’s value continues to swell beyond what many people think it is worth. Its producer, Kweichow Moutai, keeps supplies limited and takes at least five years to make its most famous variety, called Moutai Flying Fairy. That has helped send prices for both new and vintage Moutai soaring—and made it an intoxicating investment for Chinese speculators.

    The company advises retailers charge 1,499 yuan, or $213, for a half-liter bottle of the clear spirit, which is 53% alcohol. But some stores in Shanghai demand 2,800 yuan, nearly $400, or more.


    Moutai has become a status symbol. PHOTO: HUANG XIAOYONG/XINHUA/ZUMA PRESS

    Qin Xiaoluo, who runs a liquor store in the central city of Changsha, has run out of Flying Fairy. He said as salaries rose, Chinese people “can afford better drinks—but drink less.” Mr. Qin said most of his Moutai buyers were wealthy entrepreneurs, and some reason that if they don’t drink it, it will go up in value anyway.

    Drinking the pricey spirit, for some, is related to the Chinese concept of “face,” which relates to reputation or dignity in a social context. Xue Yuhu, a Shanghai-based analyst with Founder Securities Co. , said the drink is like a designer handbag: its value is enhanced by a hefty price tag.

    “Moutai is the best gift if you are planning to treat your higher-ups or visit your girlfriend’s home” and want to impress your future in-laws, he said.

    Investment Frenzy
    Shares in China's best-known liquor companyhave roughly doubled this year.
    Kweichow Moutai stock price
    Source: FactSet
    Note: 1,000 yuan=$142
    .yuan
    Jan. ’19
    May
    Sept.
    500
    750
    1,000
    1,250
    The buzz has helped shares in Shanghai-listed Kweichow Moutai gain 97% this year for a market value of about $210 billion—making it more valuable than British producer Diageo PLC, which has a market value of about $96 billion.

    Baijiu detractors say the taste reminds them of paint stripper or kerosene, especially the cheap varieties. It does have many genuine fans, who laud baijiu’s complexity and distinct flavor varieties—strong, light, soy-sauce, and rice aroma.

    One liquor website describes Moutai as having “a silky mouthfeel” and says it carries “an undertone of baking spice.” Other reviewers say the drink conjures tastes of nuts, sesame paste, mushrooms, cheese, and dark chocolate.

    Moutai is usually served in tiny glasses that contain about a third of an ounce of the spirit. Shots are frequently downed to show respect for someone making a toast. People in China say “gan bei” before drinking, which literally means “dry cup.”

    During Richard Nixon’s trip to China in 1972, he toasted Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai with Moutai.


    President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during Nixon's visit to China in 1972. PHOTO: ALAMY

    A few years later, in New York City, Henry Kissinger told the Chinese reform leader Deng Xiaoping, he “had so much Moutai” in his negotiations with Chinese officials that he “was negotiating in Chinese,” according to a transcript on a U.S. government website. He added “I think if we drink enough Moutai we can solve anything.”

    Violet Yang, a 32-year-old communications professional in Shanghai, says people her age don’t often drink Moutai. She says the drink is favored by an older crowd who may develop a greater appreciation for complex tastes as they age.

    “It has a burning feeling,” says Ms. Yang, who says she can drink up to 10 shots of Moutai, but only if she eats beforehand. She said she drinks it at friends’ weddings and business dinners. “From your throat to chest, it is filled with a burning sensation.”


    Employees spread out steamed sorghum to cool ahead of fermentation at a Kweichow Moutai Co. distillery. PHOTO: QILAI SHEN/BLOOMBERG NEWS

    Research by China-based Daxue Consulting last year found younger people prefer weaker drinks such as wine or beer, and many think baijiu tastes bad, is old-fashioned, or there are only limited occasions when drinking it is appropriate.

    Still, the craze for high-price baijiu has led to all kinds of profit-seeking, from stock-market bets and personal hoarding to fraud.

    Police have clamped down on fakers passing off second-rate moonshine as the real thing, while Kweichow Moutai has warned distributors not to squeeze the market by stockpiling too much inventory.

    At Costco’s new Shanghai outpost, shoppers have been lining up for hours to buy Moutai at 1,499 yuan, or $213, for a half-liter bottle.

    Customers are limited to one bottle per membership card a day. Some flip it for about 2,000 yuan, or $284, to scalpers, who can still profitably resell it to retailers or other consumers.


    Shoppers wait in line outside Costco in Shanghai. PHOTO: ZHOU WEI/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    On a recent weekday evening, as scalpers looked for prospects nearby, Zhong Xuefei took a photo of his boxed bottle, and the crowd, and said he wouldn’t sell it.

    “I won’t drink it. I will put it aside until it appreciates,” said 40-year-old Mr. Zhong. “Even if it doesn’t appreciate, I feel happy just looking at it,” he said.

    One user of Weibo, a Twitter -like platform, said this was a case of “the emperor’s new clothes,” although many friends were hoarding the drink.

    Ms. Miao, the market researcher, says she once felt sick after drinking three small glasses of Moutai.

    Nonetheless, she has invested about 5,000 yuan in a mutual fund focused on Kweichow Moutai and rival distillers. “Though I really don’t like the alcohol, all my friends say baijiu stocks will soar,” she said.

    —Zhou Wei
    There's a Costco in Shanghai?
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  14. #74
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    Glad something is doing well...

    Every time I post to this thread, I kick myself for not investing on the ground floor.


    Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
    Business
    China Liquor Giant Defies Global Slump With $60 Billion Rally
    Bloomberg News
    May 8, 2020, 4:00 PM PDT
    Moutai at a record relative to global index, China large caps
    Largest distiller resilient as global booze demand craters

    Chinese liquor giant Kweichow Moutai Co. is powering a recovery in the country’s stock market, defying evidence of a worldwide slump in demand for booze.

    The shares -- the priciest in China at about 1,314 yuan ($185.6) apiece -- have added almost $60 billion in market value since its March 19 low. Moutai is by far the biggest contributor to gains on the Shanghai Composite Index since then, driving about a fifth of the benchmark’s 7.2% move. The shares have closed at a fresh record in seven of the past 10 trading days, and they’re also at an all-time high relative to MSCI Inc.’s index of global stocks.

    Moutai’s rally stands out as distillers around the world struggle with restaurant shutdowns and curbs on social gatherings. Demand for its fiery baijiu liquor -- highly coveted by China’s growing middle class -- has held up as distributors hoarded the scarce bottles to prepare for an uptick in sales. Investors have also been encouraged by Moutai’s ability to keep raising retail prices for its products, which can take as long as five years to distill.

    “To those who consider themselves ‘true value investors’, the status of Moutai is sacred,” said He Qi, fund manager Huatai-PineBridge Fund Management Co. “No one can judge you if you lose money on Moutai. Whatever the valuation, earnings will live up to those multiples in a matter of time.”


    Moutai outshines the CSI 300 Index for a decade as shares strike new high

    Moutai, the world’s most valuable listed distiller, said late April that first quarter earnings jumped about 17% year on year. That contrasts with a loss of $41 million reported by Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC Ltd. for the period. London-based liquor maker Diageo Plc last month withdrew its guidance for sales and profit growth for the current reporting year.

    Moutai sales saw “double-digit growth” in March, which was “much faster” than the industry average, China International Capital Corp. analysts led by Ruochen Lv wrote in a recent note. The company has room to increase its average retail price further in the long term, as it’s still cheaper than the wholesale charge, Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. analysts including Anson Chan wrote in a note.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #75
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    ttt 4 2021

    Kweichow Moutai’s stock price upgrade could propel the valuation of China’s top liquor distiller to US$507 billion
    Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye Yibin rose to records for two straight days, leading the broader market gains since the start of the new year
    CICC’s price target implies a further 30 per cent gain for Kweichow Moutai’s shares
    Zhang Shidong in Shanghai
    Published: 4:01pm, 5 Jan, 2021


    Kweichow Moutai said that it profits probably rose by about 10 per cent last year. Photo: Simon Song
    Kweichow Moutai, the world’s 16th-most valuable company, may have another 30 per cent to go, which would bolster its market capitalisation to a staggering US$507 billion, if a forecast by China’s largest home-grown investment bank is to be believed.
    With liquor distillers Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye Yibin rising to record highs for two days in a row and leading the broader-market gains since the start of the new year, China International Capital Corp (CICC) has raised the share-price estimates for top tipple makers. Their strong momentum had lifted a gauge of consumer-staple stocks by 75 per cent last year, making them the best-performing sector.
    Kweichow Moutai, which has topped Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the most valuable stock on China’s onshore market, 3.1 per cent to 2,059.45 yuan on Tuesday, extending a 69 per cent gain over the past year. Main rivals Wuliangye jumped 7.4 per cent to 319.98 yuan and Luzhou Laojiao rallied 7.3 per cent to 258.30 yuan.
    CICC set a share-price estimate of 2,739 yuan for Kweichow Moutai in a report issued this week, implying a 33 per cent gain from its current stock price. The price target translates to a multiple of 55 times earnings for the distiller, the investment bank said. Guotai Junan Securities predicts that the stock will rise to 2,317 yuan.
    “The market has underestimated Moutai’s growth potential and secured outlook,” CICC said in the report. “The company has very strong pricing power in the industry and will continue to share the expansion of China’s high-end consumption.”
    Profits probably rose by about 10 per cent last year, Kweichow Moutai said in a statement this week. Growth may reach 20 per cent in 2021, according to the estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg.
    The valuations are already a bit stretched. Kweichow Moutai traded at 45 times projected earnings for the next 12 months for the most expensive level in at least a decade, while the multiple of Wuliangye was 46 times, according to Bloomberg data.
    The stellar run in liquor stocks has drawn attention from the regulator. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange issued an inquiry letter to Wuliangye on Monday, asking the company to clarify if there was any leak of insider information after some media reports said that the parent group achieved double-digit growth in revenue and profit last year.

    Shares of liquor maker Wuliangye Yibin have been on a tear. Photo: Shutterstock Images
    Meanwhile, traders are shifting focus to corporate earnings after Beijing signalled an unwinding of the ultra-loose monetary policy that has arrested declines in economic growth. Chinese first-tier liquor makers are seen as one of the few industries that offer visible earnings outlook.
    Top industry players will probably double profits in the following five years amid consumption upgrade and sector consolidation, according to Citic Securities, China’s biggest listed brokerage.
    Demand remains strong before the Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls in February this year, with low inventories and stable prices for upscale liquor, according to a channel check by Shenwan Hongyuan Group.
    “There will be a good start in 2021 because of the low earnings base last year and the arrival of the Spring Festival,” said Lu Chang, an analyst at the brokerage in Shanghai. “Top-tier liquor makers are the best buy in the long run.”
    I should've gone into the liquor biz...
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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