Inspired by the gift of Vladimir Putin, Chinese President XI Jinping, in the form of a box of ice cream, Chinese businessmen began to use the image of the Russian leader in private commercial purposes. They sell made in Russia products: for example, ice cream of the Russian production is conquering the huge Chinese market. What are the causes of what is happening?
A few weeks ago President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Hangzhou gave President XI Jinping a Russian ice cream, a whole box. Suddenly it became clear that the best gift for the Chinese partner it was impossible to think of. XI Jinping thanked the Russian leader and confessed his love for Russian ice cream during my numerous visits to Moscow.
“The Chinese believe that not only ice cream, but in General, everything that is produced in the Soviet Union, was a sign of high quality”
“When my every trip to Russia I always ask, to buy Russian ice-cream. Then we eat at home it’s ice cream. You have a better cream, so it you especially tasty. I really like it” – shared the Chairman of the PRC.
Moreover, as it turned out, the Russian ice cream in China in recent two years, a very popular delicacy. And after this the advertising it got even more opportunities to win market such a huge country as China, where about 1.4 billion customers.
Chinese ice cream sellers did not miss the opportunity to continue marketing ploy, initiated by Putin. They launched an unusual advertising their product. The image of the Russian leader eating an ice cream cone appeared on the mini-trucks in the Chinese Heihe region, bordering the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk, said “the Amur truth”.
The image of Putin and without ice cream is quite popular in China and has long been used by the Chinese in advertising different products. For example, a portrait of the Russian leader adorned with a huge banner in the chocolate shop in Harbin. And in Changsha, a portrait of Putin is on the banner advertising the properties, say “Novye Izvestia”.
The Chinese first had the idea to use the image of Vladimir Putin for commercial purposes. Such a move has long been used in the West and in Russia itself. For example, the German fashion house Talbot Runhof at fashion week in Paris presented a collection of t-shirts depicting Russian President against the background of the symbols of the four main cities of the fashion world: Paris, new York, London and Milan.
Italian company Caviar has released a limited edition gold cases for iPhone, decorated with the emblem of Russia, a portrait of Putin and quotes from the Russian national anthem.
And after the reunification with Crimea all around the images of Putin started a real boom: there are many products gift of character with the image of Vladimir Putin, his autographs and quotations on clothing, watches, dishes and phone cases. Although the President himself does not approve of the use of his image for commercial purposes, as in the time said his press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.
The Chinese here for two years as seriously tasted Russian food, and a special love smitten indeed to the Russian ice cream. In 2015, the first time the Amur region, started to feed China and not Vice versa. For the first time in many years on the ice of the Amur river from Blagoveshchensk to Heihe moved trucks loaded with honey, chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, flour, vegetable oil and soda. In the end, the Amur region from the region who used to buy tons of Chinese products turned into the region, with major exports to China.
In General, the trade between China and Russia in money terms in the past year decreased by 28.6% to 68 billion dollars. However, the export of agricultural products and foodstuffs from Russia to China increased. So, at the end of 2015 export of oil products in physical terms increased by 9.4 times, the supply of oil-bearing seeds and fruit – 4.9 times. There is also a growing export of cereals, legumes and vegetables. Finally, the supply of Russian ice cream in China in physical terms in the last year increased sharply – by as much as 118%.
The rapid growth of Russian exports of ice cream in China continues this year. It has already gained wide acceptance in the border cities of China, particularly in Suifenhe, Manchuria and others. And this summer, ice cream from Russia became the most popular imported goods in the city. In the first half of this year through the transition Suifenhe were shipped 206% more Russian ice cream in tons compared to last year.
Inspired by such love of the Chinese to the Russian product on the market ready to get new players from Russia. Soon on the Chinese market may appear Bashkir delicious ice cream, as recently stated by the Chairman of Roskomtorga of the Republic of Bashkortostan Guzel asylova.
“The Chinese have great respect for our leader. For them what Putin is doing, is a sign of quality. If Putin eating ice cream, it’s really good. Secondly, the Chinese believe that not only ice cream, but in General, everything that is produced in the Soviet Union, had a high mark of quality,” – says the newspaper VIEW orientalist, a senior lecturer at the faculty economic and social Sciences (FASN-Moscow Evgeny Tikhonov.
“Of course, the Chinese with respect to all the leaders. But from what I see Putin enjoys a special love. The history of Russian-Chinese ties is one of the longest. It goes from the first spiritual mission in Beijing (17th century). The Chinese remember how the relationship developed, they respect our culture, literature and transferred it to the Russian leaders,” she adds.
“And this is a purely Chinese trait – to develop your business, using references to famous personalities. And Vladimir Putin, the Chinese rightly believe a strong leader. So use it the way to succeed in their own business,” says orientalist.
But besides love and respect for Putin and Russia as the successor state to the Soviet Union, of course, the big role is played by economic factors.
In the last two years, the Chinese began to buy the Russian border territories more Russian products and ice cream because those were cheaper. While the imported European or American goods significantly increased due to the devaluation of the local currency. “Do not confuse politics and business. Here come into play the laws of the market and the ability of our business to play on foreign soil and someone else’s rules,” – said Tikhonov.
So, if earlier the Russian exports of ice cream held back by the lack of the necessary infrastructure for storage, now these errors are corrected. For example, in the second half of 2015 in Pittsburgh was built logistics complex to service the frozen food area of more than 3 thousand sq. m, daily storage capacity is 2 thousand tons. This led to a sharp increase in Russian export of ice cream.
The leader of St. Petersburg market of ice-cream the company “petroholod” discovered the export potential of the Chinese market last year. If earlier the company mainly purchased and transported from China frozen fruits and vegetables, last year began to actively increase the export of ice cream to China.
According to expert estimates, the volume of the consumer market, China is second only to the US and the Eurozone and is almost 5 trillion dollars. In other words, he is almost 10 times the size of the Russian market and, therefore, offers huge opportunities for Russian exporters.