The world-famous Canton Fair is back on-site! It is the first opportunity to participate in the largest fair in several years. Undoubtedly, it is the most important fair event for importers and exporters from all around the world. The oldest Chinese fair attracts hundreds of thousands of importers twice a year, in spring and fall. We have got you covered with practical information, such as when and where the Canton Fair 2023 is held and how to register and prepare for the fair.
Canton Fair 2023 – where and when?
Where is Canton Fair 2023?
Venue: China Import and Export Fair (Pazhou) Complex, Yuejiangzhong Road 382, Haizhu, Guangzhou
Chinese address: 中国广州市海珠区阅江中路382号、中国进出口商品交易会展馆
When is Canton Fair 2023?
Spring edition: April 15-19, 2023 / April 23-27, 2023 / May 1-5, 2023
Fall edition: October 15-19, 2023 / October 23-27, 2023 / October 31-November 4, 2023
China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair, 广交会) has been held since the 1950s, making it the longest-running fair in China. The fair is organized on a large scale in April-May and October-November, covering the most important industries. The organizer of the Canton Fair is the China Foreign Trade Center (CFTC).
The last on-site edition of the fair (2019) attracted over 190,000 buyers. In 2020, both editions of the fair were online, and a year later, the first one was online and the second in an integrated online-offline format. In 2021, the 130th edition was held with a record-breaking number of 600,000 buyers despite the fact international buyers could participate in person. In 2022, both editions (131st and 132nd) were held online.
Since China lifted most of the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2022, in 2023, the Canton Fair will be held on-site. There will be an online platform launched with more functions.
The offline Canton Fair is divided into three phases, and each phase lasts several days.
- The first phase focuses on devices that rely on electric energy or energy from other sources, as well as tools, building materials, etc.
- The second phase of the Canton Fair brings together exhibitors of home decorations, consumer goods, gifts, and more.
- The third and final phase of the Canton Fair showcases textiles, clothing, shoes, medicines, and food.
133rd Canton Fair (spring)
- Phase 1 (Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances, Machinery, Tools, Lighting): April 15-19
- Phase 2 (Consumer Goods, Home Decorations, Toys, Gifts): April 23-27
- Phase 3 (Textiles & Garments, Footwear, Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products, Medical Devices): May 1-5
The online version of the 2023 Spring Canton Fair will be launched from March 16 to September 15, 2023. For half a year, users will have access to the services offered by the Canton Fair organizers. After free registration, the buyers have access to the catalog of producers in various industries (there are no phases), can communicate with them, watch live streams, and much more (some functions are time-limited).
134th Canton Fair (fall)
- Phase 1 (Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances, Machinery, Tools, Lighting): October 15-19
- Phase 2 (Consumer Goods, Home Decorations, Toys, Gifts): October 23-27
- Phase 3 (Textiles & Garments, Footwear, Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products, Medical Devices): October 31-November 4
Canton Fair 2023 exhibitor list
The catalog of exhibitors at the Canton Fair includes sixteen categories and as many as fifty sections. There will be plenty to choose from during each phase, as the total number of exhibitors during one edition is estimated at 25,000!
How to register for Canton Fair 2023?
Buyer registration is free. Registered users can use their existing accounts, and others must register.
How to register for Canton Fair 2023 and get access to the online platform?
- Go to cantonfair.org.cn/en-US/register/index and select “Overseas Buyer” (not based in Mainland China)
- Choose one of the options:
- “I have a buyer badge” if you already have the Buyer Badge (ID badge)
- “I don’t have a buyer badge” if you don’t have the Buyer Badge and account
- “login” to log in to an existing account.
- If you select the “I don’t have a Buyer Badge” option, complete the form, agree to the terms and click “Submit.”
After registration, you can freely navigate through the exhibitors’ and products’ catalog and watch live streams. To access Instant Messaging, post Sourcing Requests, and book Negotiating Appointments, verify your email address and complete your profile information.
Tickets for Canton Fair 2023
How much are tickets for Canton Fair 2023 for attendees? Canton Fair is free! Whether the participant is from China or abroad, online registration for the fair is free (to attend the fair on-site, Chinese buyers have to pay the attendance fee.) Then, apply for an invitation on the website and pre-register for the badge (if you do not have one). Once on-site, collect your ID badge (take a passport-sized photo and a copy of your registration document). Keep the badge for future Canton Fair editions.
How to prepare for the fair?
- set your goals and determine which of the three phases of the fair you are most interested in
- register for the fair, get familiar with the catalog of products and exhibitors
- prepare for the trip: get a visa in advance (1-2 months) by submitting the Letter of Invitation from the Canton Fair organizer, book plane tickets and hotel accommodation (many hotels in the area of the venue offer transport to the place)
- prepare business cards and a business card holder to collect business cards during the fair; they are very important in Chinese business culture (be sure to give/receive business cards with both hands!)
- download the WeChat app on your phone; it will come in handy to communicate with the vendors, and after linking your bank card to your WeChat account, you can pay with your phone in China
- prepare a list of questions for suppliers and answers to their potential questions
- if you plan to visit many stands, consider taking a small suitcase with you for promotional materials and samples
- put on comfortable shoes; the size of the venue is comparable to 280 football fields
- although there is usually at least one English-speaking person in each stand, it is worth hiring an interpreter or downloading a translation app (Pleco or Google Translate)
- to make your stay in China easier, exchange currency and/or set up a Revolut account, buy a Chinese SIM card and download an app with a VPN service (we recommend Express VPN), as many websites in China are blocked
- do not decide on cooperation on the spot; verify a potential Chinese business partner and protect your business from unreliable suppliers.
Read more tips about traveling to China.
How to get to Canton Fair
How to get to the Canton Fair in Guangzhou? It is not difficult because it is the fifth largest city in China (the population is 18 m), very well connected. You can get to Guangzhou from Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Beijing by plane. Get to the Canton Fair venue:
- by subway – get on line 8 to Wanshengwei, get off at Xingangdong or Pazhou
- by train – get off at Guangzhou East, hail a taxi to the venue
- by bus – get on a bus running to the Canton Fair Exhibition Hall (Express line B7, 229, 239, 262, 304, 582, 763, 988 lines).
Canton Fair 2023 – restrictions and more information
Because China withdrew from the “zero- Covid” policy, the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Persons arriving in China are not required to quarantine or undergo regular tests. If you are coming to the fair in Guangzhou, you must obtain a visa (depending on the country of the applicant) and a negative test (PCR) for Covid-19.