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Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

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Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

2024-06-23 16:16 Last Updated At:06-24 00:47

The millennium-old whiskey industry in Ireland has been given a new lifeline thanks to surging sales in China in recent years.

'Uisce beatha' - the Old Irish words for whiskey translate literally to 'water of life'. The distilled spirit is reputed to have originated in Ireland around 1000 years ago. The country was once the world's dominant supplier, with at least 28 legal distilleries by the 1890s.

However, failing to keep up with the times, Scottish whiskey took over its place, wiping out all but two Irish rivals. Today, the growing demand in China is fueling the renaissance of Irish whiskey industry.

Businessman Chad Huang, who also serves as the president of China Europe Business Association, has lived in Ireland for 22 years. His 'Chamber' whiskey brand is a top seller.

"Chinese people have finally woken up to brown liquor now, especially the young people-say probably around 30 years old. We see huge growth, especially on the east coast of China, and people really started drinking whiskey now. We truly believe Irish whiskey has a bright future in China," said Huang told China Global Television Network (CGTN).

In 2023, China imported 32,600 kiloliters of whiskey worldwide worth approximately 0.57 million U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 9.65 percent.

Official date showed the Chinese whiskey market expanded by 4.2 times in the past decade. The scale is expected to grow further to more than 2.25 billion U.S. dollars around 2025.

John Teeling is an almost mythical figure in the Irish whiskey industry. Despite never having tried a drop, he is known as the "father of the Irish whiskey renaissance".

In the 1980s, Teeling broke the monopoly of Irish distilleries and inspired others to do the same. Now, there are more than 30 distilleries in the country, with many still heading East.

"The future of Irish whiskey is in Asia. China with 450 million coming into the middle class - and it's the middle class that want to drink imported spirits - and the young people, they're the ones who want to drink fresh new drinks," said Teeling.

For now, Scotch whiskey still dominates with brands such as Johnny Walker and Chivas Regal. But Irish whiskey, with its smooth, mellow texture and wide variety of finishes, looks set to mature rapidly and become a favorite in Chinese glasses.

Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

Soaring sales in China gives new lifeline to Irish whiskey

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China's sci-tech innovation board celebrates five years of opening

2024-07-22 20:24 Last Updated At:20:37

The Shanghai Stock Exchange's sci-tech innovation board has grown to be a preferred place for hardcore tech companies in China to go public five years after its establishment.

The Science and Technology Innovation Board market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, also known as the STAR market, has nurtured more than 570 hardcore tech companies, with a total market capitalization exceeding five trillion yuan (about 690 billion U.S. dollars) as of Friday.

Among them, more than 130 listed companies have a market capitalization of more than 10 billion yuan, and four listed companies have a market capitalization of more than 100 billion yuan.

By industries, the listed companies on the STAR market are concentrated in such sectors as electronics, biopharmaceuticals, power equipment, machinery equipment, and computers, covering multiple industry chains including integrated circuits, biopharmaceuticals, new energy, and new materials.

This shows that the STAR market has grown with stronger industrial cluster effect and demonstration effect.

"In the past few years, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and machinery are industries with the most increase in the number of companies listed on the STAR market. This change reflects the country's strong support for sci-tech innovation and the positive effect of opening financing channels for 'hardcore' companies aiming to break through key core technologies," said Zhang Gang, chief investment adviser of Southwest Securities.

A high level of research and development investment and a growth of such investment over consecutive years have been main features of the listed companies on the STAR market, which started to trade on July 22, 2019.

Data shows that in 2023, the research and development investment of companies traded in the STAR market exceeded 150 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of over 14 percent.

Since its launch, the average research and development intensity of listed companies on the STAR market has remained above 10 percent, and over 80 companies have maintained a research and development intensity exceeding 20 percent for three consecutive years.

The large research and development investment has led to more technological breakthroughs.

Among the listed companies on the STAR market, over 340 companies are nationally recognized "little giant"enterprises, 50 manufacturing champions of individual industry, and 40 manufacturing champions of individual products.

"The STAR market, with its focus on supporting hardcore sci-tech companies, has gradually become a new pivot for promoting sci-tech innovation and accelerating the development of new quality productive forces. Companies listed on the STAR market that receive capital support are continuously focusing on key areas to accelerate sci-tech breakthroughs. There have been numerous achievements in areas of new energy, new materials, and high-end equipment manufacturing. These advancements provide solid technological guarantee for further promoting new industrialization and strengthening advanced manufacturing clusters in the future," said Tian Lihui, director of the Institute of Finance and Development of Nankai University.

China's sci-tech innovation board celebrates five years of opening

China's sci-tech innovation board celebrates five years of opening

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