CES Asia returns to Shanghai as Alibaba heats up China’s trade show market with new event

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 9:52pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 9:52pm

CES Asia, the regional event of the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, returns to China in May just weeks after e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s initial foray into the country’s crowded trade exhibition market.

Hangzhou-based Alibaba’s Tmall.com online retail platform has partnered with the organisers of the Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) to stage the inaugural “Consumer Electronics China” show in Shenzhen from April 20 to 22.

CES Asia is scheduled from May 11 to 13 in Shanghai, where it was also held last year.

Despite the potential for conflict in terms of attracting exhibitors and attendees, executives at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Association, said that they had no concerns.

“Alibaba was one of the groups that we worked last year when we launched CES Asia in Shanghai,” said Karen Chupka, a senior vice-president at the United States-based CTA. “They continue to work with us this year.”

Chupka pointed out that the Alibaba show “presents a valuable opportunity for their buyers and sellers to get together and see what the technology trends are”.

Yin Jing, Alibaba’s general manager for 3C products and home appliances, announced the launch of a competitive domestic trade show in his speech in January at the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

He assured that a number of global brands and start-ups would attend as well as open their stores on Tmall.

New York-based research firm eMarketer has forecast mainland China’s total retail e-commerce sales in 2018 at US$1.568 trillion, up from an estimated US$672 billion last year.

Chupka said CES Asia, which is co-organised with Intex Shanghai, presented “a different opportunity because it is one of the few shows with a broad coverage that remains unique for China”.

More than 300 exhibitors, representing global brands and start-ups from 20 countries, are expected to participate at this year’s CES Asia, up from 212 last year.

They will cover 15 finished product categories, including drones, smart homes, the internet of things, smart wearable devices and 3D printing.