Chinese official failed to impress Xi with RMB 99 Baijiu

A Chinese official from Yanbo in the impoverished Guizhou province, in southwestern China, failed to impress Chinese president Xi Jinping with her RMB 99 liquor – the fiery Chinese liquor made from grain or rice – when meeting with the Chinese leader Xi who blasted it for being too expensive.

In a meeting with delegates from Guizhou, Yanbo village party secretary Yu Liufen told Xi that she had set up a distillery in the province, the home base of China’s renowned Moutai, to produce Baijiu as a way to boost local economy.

Selling RMB 99 (US$15) a bottle, which is roughly 10 times cheaper than Moutai’s flagship 53 Degree brand, Xi interjected and reprimanded the price for being too expensive.

“RMB 99 is not cheap. The point is not being expensive. High price doesn’t necessarily mean good quality,” Xi said.

Yu subsequently responded by vowing to follow Xu’s instruction and lower the liquor price. Xi however, insisted the price should be determined by market.

“This is a matter for the market. This is only my perceptions. You should follow the market. Don’t listen to me and sell it at RMB 30, then you can’t sell it at all,” he said while laughing.

In addition, Xi also snubbed the village’s ham after Yu said the ham was among the three best-known regional brands together with Jinhua and Xuanwei, to which Xi replied: “Then you need to increase the ham’s popularity. I’ve only heard of the other two”.

Sales of the country’s Baijiu, including top brands from Moutai, are slowly picking up after the market started to stabilise after dipping. The rebound has pushed up prices for China’s most well known liquor brand Moutai to surpass share prices of Diageo, making it the most value liquor brand, according to the FT.

You can watch the exchanges below between Xi and Yu (source from SupChina):



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