Members of the Gujing Group and its subsidiary the Anhui Gujing Distillery Co (Gujing Distillery) hosted a liquor auction in New York on Sunday to help promote interest in China's age-old liquor industry.
Foreign investors, local collectors and American partners of the Gujing Distillery took part in the event at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Sunday. The Gujing Group's Global Tour of Gujinggong Chinese Liquor Culture aims to help further global understanding of the cultural and historical significance of the liquor industry in China.
Liang Jinhui, general manager of Gujing Distillery, said that the company's auction in New York was an important instrument for getting Americans to know more about Chinese wine culture.
"Gujinggong has a long history and it represents the Chinese culture and spirit," Liang said on Saturday in an interview with China Daily. "The auction marks an important move for us to get our brand - one of the best white wine brands in China - in the US market, and for people here to know more about China and its wine culture."
Anhui Gujinggong Liquor is produced in the city of Bozhou, Anhui province. The company, which produces alcohol from grains such as wheat, rice and corn, started in a small distillery in 1515.
In the early 1990s, the distillery became the Gujing Group. Shortly thereafter the group became one of the most profitable liquor makers in China, and in 1996, the company became the first publicly traded liquor purveyor by listing on China's Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
The Gujing Group has more than 10,000 employees, but its holdings extend into the commerce, tourism and real estate sectors.
Sunday's auction offered participants a chance to buy special reserve bottles and collections from the Gujing Distillery. Financial information from the auction was not made public, but the first 10 lots from the event - totaling 1,200 bottles - netted more than $1.2 million for the company.
The Bozhou-based distiller hosted events in New York throughout the weekend, which included Saturday's opening ceremony and reception banquet.
Several of the elected officials in attendance on Saturday hailed from cities in the New York tri-state area, including the mayor of Mount Vernon, New York, Ernest D. Davis. New Jersey assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson, who was also in attendance, said these gatherings highlight the importance of international commerce.
"I come from the county of Bergen in the state of New Jersey, and we all recognize the importance of culture, history and opportunity," Johnson said on Saturday during the Gujing Group's reception banquet. "Elected officials recognize the importance of commerce, but also the importance of different cultures coming together as one."
Tienwen Yuan, a New York-based real estate investor, said Gujinggong's reputation in China bodes well for the company going forward.
"First of all, Gujinggong has done very well in China and they've come here to become international," Yuan said. "New York is an international city, and most people want a spot in Times Square."
Liang Jinhui (second from left), general manager of the Anhui Gujing Distillery Co, greets, from left, Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest D. Davis, Commissioner of Management Services Thomas L. Terry and New Jersey assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson, who all attended the opening ceremony of the Chinese liquor producer's global tour. Jack Freifelder / China Daily