China Resources Beer (Holdings) Co. Ltd.
China Resources Beer is a state-owned major beverage maker and a core subsidiary of China Resources (Holdings), a conglomerate that operates electricity, food and other businesses. China Resources beer's business is well known for its "Snow" beverage, accounting for about 20% of the Chinese beer market.
Founded in 1992, the company also runs a distribution business, with about 4,800 shops, including those in the China Resources Vanguard chain. It also operates a food business under its Pacific Coffee unit and has established a mineral water brand "C'estbon" in its beverage business. The company also offers soft drink brands through a joint venture it established in 2011 with Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings.
In May 2015, China Resources Beer announced it will sell all its non-beer businesses to its parent company, aiming to spin off its distribution business, which has been in the red, and focus on its competitive beer business.
In 2014, the company had the largest share of China's beer market for the ninth straight year. Previously, another leading Chinese beer maker Tsingtao Brewery held the country's top market share. It is said there were 800 beer companies in China, and China Resources Enterprise acquired them one after another to reach the top. SABMiller Asia Pacific, a unit under British beer maker SABMiller, has a 49% stake in brewing company China Resources Snow Breweries, a unit under China Resources Beer and also a joint venture, providing technical cooperation for beer production.
Despite its commanding lead in the domestic beer market, China Resources Beer is little known abroad. Although China is the world's largest beer consumer, in 2014 the domestic market contracted from a year earlier, due to the country's economic slowdown and other negative factors. This shows there are signs of uncertainty about the company's outlook.