August 31, 2023


Seafood sales in China rise amid nuclear concerns



Sales of locally sourced seafood and aquatic products in China have witnessed a dramatic surge on prominent Chinese e-commerce platforms, following Japan's move to release nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, The Star reported.


Leading online retailer Pinduoduo reported that turnover for domestic sea cucumbers, shrimp, crabs, freshwater fish, and seafood gift packages on its virtual marketplace doubled last Thursday compared to the previous day. Notably, transaction volumes for large yellow croakers and freshwater crabs, including the renowned hairy crabs, experienced remarkable jumps of 148% and 730%, respectively, during the same period.


Sales of aquatic products on JD Super, the online supermarket division of Chinese e-commerce behemoth JD, soared by an impressive 150% year-on-year last Thursday. Moreover, the sales figures witnessed a significant 63% surge from the previous Tuesday to Thursday when compared to the period between August 15 to 17.


JD Super underscored its commitment to enhanced safety by increasing tests for radioactive substances in its seafood and aquatic products. The platform is also vigilant about verifying the seafood's origin and the period of capture to ensure that it predates Japan's commencement of releasing contaminated water.


Notably, China suspended the import of all aquatic products originating from Japan, coinciding with Japan's release of radioactive water from the tsunami-impacted Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. This move was confirmed by China's General Administration of Customs.


Zhu Keli, the founding director of the China Institute of New Economy, highlighted that a growing number of Chinese consumers are prioritising health and food safety. These individuals are inclined to opt for domestically produced aquatic products to mitigate potential risks related to Japan's water discharge. However, Zhu emphasised the importance of rational consumption choices and reliance on reputable channels for product procurement.


Central government departments have intensified testing and monitoring protocols for imported aquatic products, underpinning their commitment to upholding the quality and safety of such commodities.


-      The Star

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