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The Canton Fair goes virtual due to COVID


The Canton Fair is a trade fair that is held in Guangzhou, Guangdong twice a year. It is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of China and the government of Guangdong Province and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre. Established in 1957, it is one of the oldest, largest and most significant trade fairs in China, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to each event.

Due to Covid-19 and its disruptions to conferences and travel, this year, the spring session of the fair will be hosted entirely online. The fair will be held from June 15th to 24th, inviting over 400,000 global buyers to its first-ever online exhibition. While attendees won’t be able to interact in person, the fair aims to promote business resumption and online trade connections in an open economy.

Should you attend the Canton Fair

Aiming to facilitate global trade and develop cross-border relationships, the Canton Fair is beneficial for both buyers and sellers. Here are a few reasons why both parties choose to attend every year:


  • Secure manufacturers
  • Streamline sourcing process
  • Negotiate deals
  • Build relationships
  • Identify trends and products


  • Adjust sales strategies
  • Negotiate deals
  • Build relationships
  • Collect demand detail
  • Promote products

What industries does the Canton Fair cover?

The Canton Fair hosts exhibitors and buyers from a wide variety of industries, so the schedule is broken down into three phases:

Phase 1 

  • Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts
  • Machinery, Hardware & Tools
  • Energy + Resources
  • Chemical Products
  • Building Materials
  • International Pavilion

Phase 2 

  • Consumer Goods
  • Gifts
  • Home Decorations

Phase 3

  • Office Supplies
  • Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
  • Medical Devices and Health Products
  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Textiles & Garments
  • International Pavilion

How will the Online Canton Fair work?

Every year, the Canton Fair Complex attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees to its nearly 300-acre exhibition space. Hosting a fully-digital version of the conference will be a difficult endeavour, but the organizers plan to implement a number of tactics to ease the transition. This includes:

  • 24/7 services for product promotion
  • Matchmaking and business negotiations
  • Remote order placement
  • Efficient interaction and communication channels
  • E-commerce zone to explore new possibilities for efficient international trade
  • Promotion of cross-border e-commerce brand enterprises
  • Individual live stream rooms for face-to-face negotiation or mass marketing promotion
  • A social platform allowing buyers to view videos and streams, share, comment, and more
  • Multilingual translation support
  • Company background overviews

What to do before attending the Canton Fair

If you are not already registered as a buyer, it’s not too late. You can visit the Canton Fair website for more information on how to sign up and get an invite. 

If you need legal advice before or after attending the event, sign up for Trustiics to get help from an English-speaking Chinese lawyer. We can help with document translation, due diligence on local companies, legal consultations and more.

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