Tue, May 09, 2006 - Page 2 News List

TTL to sell Long Life cigarettes in China, Asia-Pacific

By Wang Meng-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp (TTL) last Thursday announced a plan to market its Long Life cigarettes in the Asia-Pacific region, beginning with China in July.

TTL is seeking to break into the Japanese, South Korean and Southeast Asian markets with its Long Life cigarette brand, and will target duty-free shops in Asian airports by next year.

According to chairman Ray Dawn (董瑞斌), the company will sell the cigarettes in China through two methods -- "duty-free sales" and "taxed sales."

Duty-free sales will be conducted in airports in Shanghai, Beijing, Macau and Hong Kong, Dawn said. Long Life cigarettes are already sold at the Macau airport and will be introduced to the other airports soon, Dawn said.

Under "taxed sales," Chinese distributors will sell taxed Long Life cigarettes in China.

Quota limits, however, mean that TTL will only be able to sell a fixed number of taxed cigarettes, Dawn said.

"Although the Chinese market is big, the Chinese government is quite protectionist when it comes to domestic tobacco products. They allow in only 280,000 crates of imported cigarettes a year," Dawn said.

The quotas will limit how much the Chinese market will contribute to sales, Dawn added.

He said that while Chinese tobacco and liquor producers could profit in Taiwan, Taiwanese producers also have the potential to make money in Chinese markets.

China's protectionist measures make it difficult to break into the Chinese market, so TTL wants to go global and will not limit itself to the Chinese market, Dawn said.

Duty-free airport venues are the ideal springboard in that regard, according to Dawn.

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