How did the virus outbreak impact your business? Interview with David Zhong

  • How did the virus outbreak impact your business?

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese exhibition industry as a whole has been challenged in the past few weeks. At VNU, we remain confident that the tight measures to contain the virus will lead to a rapid return to normal life and business environment.

However, in order to protect the health and safety of our exhibitors and visitors, we have decided to postpone our events scheduled in February and March. Our exhibitions later this year are not impacted.

  • How does VNU / Pet Fair team manage to continue prepare upcoming events?

With safety-for-everyone as its primary concern, our company has managed to implement solutions to allow 100% of its staff to work from home and insure efficiency during the epidemic.

For employees at our 3 offices in China, it’s almost business as usual: we work together and with our international partners at the same pace and with the same energy as before.

  • How does APA support the pet industry to face the current crisis?

The Asia Pet Alliance (APA) gives us a higher responsibility towards the pet industry, beyond the organization of a trade fair like Pet Fair Asia. The virus outbreak has actually proven how essential the role of APA is for the industry.

Within ten days of the outbreak, APA has released an industry-wide proposal to protect pets, spread fact-checked information and started to support pet owners in multiple ways. The organization has produced short documentaries in Wuhan to report on the situation in the city and share it with the community.

We facilitate the circulation of information across the country and prevent false rumors to have negative consequences for pet owners. We help to set and promote safety standards and emergency procedures for professionals in our industry returning to work, and continuously support retailers and their customers with educational content regarding pet keeping during the epidemic.

Education wise, due to the impossibility to organize the China Pet Academy roadshow as planned in February, APA temporarily switched to a full-digital approach for its training session – giving access to free online content to its members.

Last but not least, APA continues to regulate the industry to avoid unscrupulous businesses to arbitrarily raise prices or charge higher services fees, ensure the sustainable and healthy development of the industry.

  • How do you see the chinese pet industry 6 months from now?

The Chinese pet market is growing at an incredible pace. The current situation has certainly slowed down everyone’s activities but we expect a surge in demand in the coming weeks, along with people resuming their regular life activities.

Professionals in our industry have been playing an exemplary role to help end-users better take care of their pets during this period. We are standing together, showing an incredible solidarity. I personally believe the industry will get out stronger from this situation and continue to accelerate in 2020.