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Business trends

Trade shows go virtual for global reach in coronavirus era

Industry at turning point as companies ditch fairs to host own events

The Ceatec consumer electronics fair, seen here in 2019, will go online this year. (Photo by Masayuki Terazawa)

GUANGZHOU -- Trade exhibitions have moved to the internet amid the pandemic, forgoing face-to-face interactions with visitors while creating opportunities to connect with those who would otherwise not attend.

Building materials manufacturer Cmech (Guangzhou) Industrial Co. eagerly shared product information via livestreaming in the first-ever online edition of the China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, that kicked off this week. The Guangdong Province company's virtual-reality showroom tour gives viewers a better feel for such offerings as window frames and sliding doors.

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