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Swiss wine popular in Beijing

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Zhang Zhou

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, and huge changes have been made in Beijing, capital of China, over the past 40 years. We have invited 40 foreign experts to participate in a series of interviews named “New Era, New Insight” jointly hosted by GMW.cn(The official website of Guangming Daily) and the Information Office of Beijing Municipality and share their “Beijing Stories”.

The following is part of the script of the interview with Claudia Masueger, CEO and founder of CHEERS Wines.

I’m Claudia Masueger. I’m from Switzerland. I’m running a wine retail chain called Cheers Wines. I came to China on the 8th of January in 2008. And when I arrived, in terms of wine drinking, basically, only the elite of Chinese and the government were consuming wine. 

The end consumer, the normal people and the young generation didn’t drink any wine at that time.  I arrived at China on the 8th of January in 2008. And when I looked at the market, only the government or the elite of business people were consuming wine. 

The end consumer and the young generation didn’t drink wine at this time. The last ten years, everything changed in terms of the wine consumption. So after the anti-corruption campaign hit in China, the youngster started to discover wine. 

And when I opened the first CHEERS store in April, 2011, then it was a big boom. We have been very successful in the first year, because we introduced the lifestyle of drinking wine to the Chinese consumers. 

And since then, everything changed. So a lot of youngsters are starting to appreciate the new lifestyle of drinking wine. The first store we opened in April, 2011, exactly at 10:15:09. 

And it was amazing. Because the store was opened in the very local Chinese neighborhood in Xizhimen. And people who consumed wine were randomly people from the street. 

When we introduced that the wine was purely imported and my family is in wine business for generation, people were very excited. The people who bought wine, were just older or younger or people on the street. 

And it was a great success from the beginning, because people recognize the quality of the wine. The wine consumption in last ten years completely changed. 

When rather the government or businessmen consumed wine ten years ago, now it’s the young people, it’s the mass of the people, on the streets, they have discovered wine as a style. 

And they love it, and they drink it on the daily basis. In the last couple of years, the interests of the young people became more and more to learn new lifestyle. 

And with opening our stores, we offered the young generation in China to learn on the daily basis about wine. We gave them wine tasting. We made a lot of wine tastings every single day so that newly wine consumers can really discover the wine and can really try wine on the daily basis. 

And then bring them in a new world of life and guide them through the process so that they really enjoy wine on the daily basis. The last ten years, the wine price has dropped extremely, the reason is that the volume became bigger. 

Wine consumption, wine price was more transparent, especially online with all the information which are available. Therefore, the consumers could simply afford.