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Suning Inks Partnership Agreement with State-owned Hainan Tourism Investment Development to Expand Cooperation in China’s Duty-Free Retail Market

SANYA, China, Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Suning Group (“Suning”), one of the leading commercial enterprises in China, Suning International, and Hainan Tourism Investment Development Co. Ltd. have signed a strategic partnership agreement on December 25th in Sanya, a resort city in south China’s Hainan province. Both parties will leverage their respective advantages to focus on logistics, commercial real estate, tourism retail and other fields to carry out all-round and multi-level cooperation, to integrate various industrial chains, and aid in the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port.

From left to right, Xian Guojiang, Director of the International Office, Hainan Tourism Investment; Xie Zhiyong, Chairman and General Manager of Hainan Tourism Duty-Free Goods Co; Chen Tiejun, Chairman of Hainan Tourism Investment; Steven Zhang, Vice President of Suning Group; Melody Jia, Strategy Director of Suning International, Suning Group, and Fan Huaiwei, General Manager of Hainan

COVID-19 has disrupted the tourism industry and struck the retail market. As outbound tourists have returned substantially, the demand for shopping duty-free goods overseas has shifted to China. Due to Hainan province’s amiable tropical climate, the Hainan Free Trade Port has become an even more popular vacation destination for Chinese travelers compared to the pre-epidemic period. Also, the new Hainan duty-free shopping policy inaugurated starting from July 1st this year that lifted the annual duty-free shopping quota for individuals boosted Hainan’s duty-free sales, and made Hainan an even more attractive alternative for shopping duty-free goods amid the travel restrictions, analysts said.

“Riding the strong growth momentum of Hainan Free Trade Zone fueled by favorable policies, this strategic partnership has granted us a great opportunity to expand our cooperation and bring prosperity to the area by leveraging the global supply chain of Suning, as well as the company’s rich experience and deep know-how in omni-channel smart retail and robust capability to offer premium customized experiential services,” said Steven Zhang, Vice President of Suning Group.

“Through this landmark agreement, we hope to bring more business opportunities to Hainan with our partner,” said Chen Tiejun, Chairman of Hainan Tourism Investment Development Co., Ltd, “Together with Suning, we will further strengthen our cooperation and launch more projects in the region, making our respective contribution to the development of Hainan Free Trade Zone.”

Prior to the signing ceremony, Suning International visited the offshore duty-free complex that Hainan Tourism Investment will officially open in Sanya starting from December 30.

Prior to the signing ceremony, Suning International visited the off-shore duty-free complex that Hainan Tourism Investment will officially open in Sanya starting from December 30.

Hainan Tourism Investment is a provincial state-owned enterprise approved by the Hainan Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government. Inaugurated on April 13, 2020, the second anniversary of the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Zone, it is commited to developing  a full tourism industry chain, and building a partnership platform to cultivate Hainan’s international tourism industry.

Hainan Tourism Investment received its offshore duty-free trading license for surrounding islands in August, as well as its license for the import of duty-free consumer goods.

Suning International is the global business arm of Suning Group. This segment is committed to the construction of import and export supply chains, as well as online and offline smart retail, with the purpose of serving growing consumer demand from Chinese customers for imported products. In addition to Suning International, Suning has developed its own high-end retail service platform, Sup’s. A crucial component in Suning’s global retail strategy and the pioneering example of Suning’s international brand philosophy, Sup’s is committed to the introduction and incubation of global high-end quality experiences, services, and emerging specialty products.

Stimulating tax-free consumption in China’s leading tourism hotspot

The joint agreement between Suning and Hainan Tourism Investment will leverage Suning’s strong global supply chain advantages. With strengths in the import supply chain for products directly sourced from overseas, the partnership will deliver cosmetics products, personal care products, designer home furniture, health products, foodstuffs and more to consumers in Hainan and beyond. Suning International now has 9 regional offices globally and has set up a development blueprint covering tax-free trade, cross-border trade, general trade, B2B and B2C model. The company continues to build and improve customized service solutions for overseas high-quality brands and has upgraded to a global brand service provider.

In addition, Suning has a number of high-end brands in its network that excel at experiential consumption, besides Sup’s, there are Luxury hotel Bellagio Shanghai, top Japanese Restaurant KUROGI, which are both under Suning International’s umbrella. These businesses have the potential for bringing brand activities, pop-up stores and various experiential activities to Hainan in future.  

In fact, Suning already has over 70 physical stores located in Hainan, and plans to build an additional offline entity in the future off the back of its agreement with Hainan Tourism Investment.

About Suning Group

Founded in 1990, Suning is one of the leading commercial enterprises in China with two public companies in China and Japan. In 2020, Suning Group ranked second in the top 500 non-state owned enterprises in China with annual revenues of RMB 665.259 billion (approximately US $97 billion) and continued to top the list of Internet retailing category. Adhering to the enterprise mission of “Leading the Ecosystem across Industries by Creating Elite Quality of Life for All”, Suning has strengthened and expanded its core business as retail through a corporate ecosystem comprised by multiple vertical industries, including commercial real estate, financial services and sports., the main subsidiary pioneering in online and offline retailing, has been listed in the Fortune Global 500 for four successive years from 2017 to 2020.

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