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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Moutai aims high for global reach

By Liu Xiangrui and Su Jiangyuan (China Daily)

09:59, March 12, 2012

A prospective buyer takes a closer look at a vintage bottle of Moutai during an auction in Nanchang, Jiangxi province last year. (Hu Guolin / for China Daily)

Having built a reputation as China's top liquor brand, Moutai is now aiming to become a world-famous drink.

Ji Keliang, the honorary chairman and chief technical adviser of China Kweichow Moutai Distillery, told China Daily that he was confident in the quality and unique flavor of the liquor, and the sophisticated technology used in its distillation.

But he admitted the sales of Moutai products outside of China is still quite limited.

This was due in part to the difference in drinking habits. There is a greater choice of alcoholic strengths and flavors in other countries.

Ji, 73, has worked for the distilling company for nearly 50 years. He became chairman in 1998 and retired from the position last year.

The group aims to further increase its output to about 100,000 tons by 2015, from about 60,000 tons in 2011, he said. It will bring the group an income of 50 billion yuan ($7.9 billion). The company saw an income of 23.7 billion yuan last year.

"If Moutai succeeds in the international market, it can set a good example for other Chinese liquor brands," said Liu Yuan, secretary-general of the China National Association for Liquor and Spirits Circulation.

Moutai's strategy is to promote itself together with traditional Chinese culture.

"Instead of selling the liquor alone, we will combine our products with the Chinese culture," Ji said.

Yi Jigang, the former chairman of liquor maker Guizhou Dongjiu, backed the strategy.

"It's vital you exploit the culture behind the product," he said.

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