With domestic sales of alcohol slowing as a result of China’s campaign for frugality, some Chinese beverage companies have been looking overseas to boost their sagging returns.
Industry insiders quoted by the Xinhua news agency have complained that China's high-end liquor producers are now faced with tough domestic market conditions due to the central leadership maintaining a hard line against extravagance.
High-end liquors are among the luxuries cracked down on in official spending.
Figures released by the China Food Association have shown that the country's liquor revenues totalled RMB240.2 billion yuan (US$39.2bn) in the first-half of the year.
However, revenue growth was down by 18.2% year on year, and and corresponding growth for net profits plummeted 54.5 points.
Although Chinese liquor brands have big potential overseas, they need to borrow foreign marketing experience to build their brand images abroad, Zhang Zhigang, former vice minister of commerce, told Xinhua.
He advised domestic distillers eyeing overseas markets to attach great importance to setting up standards for their products, manufacturing and packaging, and protecting their intellectual property rights.
Chinese wineries and distilleries, including Wuliangye, Luzhou Laojiao and Zhangyu Wine, have gained initial footholds in overseas markets, but their marketing has developed slowly, Zhang said.