All You Want to Know About Canton Fair

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Some people say: trade is mankind’s most important invention. Today we will introduce one of the most important trade fairs to you: Canton Fair, by 4 parts below:

Part 1: What’s Canton Fair? And its History.

Part 2: When is Canton Fair in China? Or what time does the Canton Fair open?

Part 3: How to attend Canton Fair 2023

Part 4: What is about current Canton Fair now in 2023?

Firstly, Part 1: What’s Canton Fair? And its History.

The China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair. It is held every spring and autunm in Guangzhou, China. It’s the largest and most comprehensive trade fair in the world. The enormous size and scope of the Canton Fair is a biannual event for almost everything import and export with China. Global exhibitors come from all over the world to attend this twice-yearly market in Guangzhou that has been going on since 1957! For over sixty years, the Canton fair serves as a historical witness to the development of China’s foreign trade, it has faithfully recorded the pace of the country’s growth.

The event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of PRC and the Peoples Government of Guangdong Province. It is organized by China Foreign Trade Centre. The Exhibition of Chinese Export Commodities was established in Guangzhou in the Spring of 1957, later it changed its name to the Chinese Export Commodities Fair and China Import and Export Fair.  But we all call it “Canton Fair“. Because by the time city Guangzhou still has ‘Canton’ as its English name. Canton is a well know name of foreign trade city for a long time. Under the national policy of “one-stop trade” in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Canton (Guangzhou) was once the only foreign trade port in China.

The Canton Fair is the pinnacle of international trade events, boasting an impressive history and staggering scale. Exhibiting a vast array of products, it attracts buyers from all over the world and has generated immense business dealings in China.

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Part 2: When is Canton Fair in China? Or what time does the Canton Fair open?

The Canton Fair is held twice a year in Guangzhou, China. A Spring session and an Autumn session. Each session is divided into three phases, each with different products on display.

  • Phase 1 includes electronics and home appliances, lighting, vehicles and accessories, machinery, hardware tools, building materials, chemical products, energy…
  • Phase 2 includes daily consumer goods, gifts, and home decoration., etc.
  • Phase 3 includes textile and clothing, footwear, office, luggage and leisure products, medicine and health care, food;

The Canton Fair is typically held on specific days each year:

Session Phase Date
Spring Session Phase 1 Apr. 15-19
Phase 2 Apr. 23-27
Phase 3 May 01-05
Autumn Session Phase 1 Oct. 15-19
Phase 2 Oct. 23-27
Phase 3 Oct. 31 – Nov. 04


The ticket or badge which authorize you to visit the fair is called the “Entry Badge”, you can obtain the entry badge directly at the Registration Office of the Canon Fair, but it is possible to apply for the Entry Badge online.

 Canton Fair Opening Hours:
Phase I Apr./Oct.14, 10:30-18:00
Apr./Oct.15-18, 8:30-18:00
Apr./Oct.19, 8:30-16:00
Phase II Apr./Oct.23-26, 8:30-18:00
Apr./Oct.27, 8:30-16:00
Phase III In Spring:
May 1-4, 8:30-18:00
May 5, 8:30-14:00In Autumn:
Oct. 31-Nov.3, 8:30-18:00
Nov. 4, 8:30-14:00

It’s important to remember that the registration peak hours (long queue) is from 9:30 – 12:00 on April 15, April 23 and May 1 (this applies to the spring session of Canton Fair) and on October 15, October 23 and November 1 (this applies to the autumn session of Canton Fair).

The 133rd spring Canton Fair is already open at the Guangzhou Canton Fair Complex. Below is the first crazy day of 15th April, most people spent around 3 hours to enter…..

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Part 3: How to attend Canton Fair 2023?

Here are the steps to attend Canton Fair:

1, If you attend the Fair offline for the first time, you need to apply for a Buyer Badge to enter the Canton Fair Complex. The Online Pre-registration is open in advance to ensure you a successful onsite attendance.

Note: If you have applied for the Canton Fair Overseas Buyer Badge, please note that the Badge can be used for multiple sessions and you can directly enter the Complex with it this session, which is convenient and time-saving. Please keep it properly.

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Venue: Canton Fair Complex Guangzhou, China

The registration and verification for overseas buyers is available online. To register or verify, please go to and click “Overseas Buyer.”

Since 2023, there are some changes, to boost domestic consumption, fair is open to domestic purchasing and charge ¥100 for 5 days. Compared with before entry only open to foreigners or their China offices, and charged ¥350 per day, price is much cheaper now. But all domestic visitors registration would be put online, there are no more offline application during fair time, online apply was closed in advance on the first day for this Spring Canton Fair, as too many people register and too busy…

2, If you don’t have visa, you will need to apply a Chinese visa to attend Canton Fair. You can receive an invitation letter once complete the registration process online. We usually send our customers Invitation letters in advance directly for them to apply visa and the Chinese embassy or consulate in their country.

3, Plan your itinerary and book your accommodation. Our customers often leave some time to visit old or potential suppliers after or before the fair, after fair is much better and more recommended, as more convenient for both sides.

Please note the hotels are busy during Canton Fair, make sure to book it in advance. If you need us to help you book hotels, just contact directly, we can arrange our hotel agent in Guangzhou to help it, who has lots of Guangzhou hotels resources and can help get it at discount prices, usually lower than hotel direct prices.

4, Arrive or leave Guangzhou. The Canton Fair is held in Guangzhou, you can fly to Guangzhou Baiyun International airport directly, which is 45 minutes away from the Canton Fair venue. Please note there are shutter bus from Canton Fair back to Guangzhou Baiyun airport which usually set under the overpass in the Canton Fair.

5, Attend the Fair. Once you arrive at the Canton Fair venue, you will need to get the enter badge first if you don’t have one. Then start exploring the exhibition and meeting with suppliers!

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Part 4: What is about current Canton Fair now in 2023?

According to the first day data of 1st session Spring Fair, there are totally about 370,000 Chinese visitors while 67,000 foreign visitors. Lots of exhibitors ware complaining too many Chinese people in this fair and too less foreigners. There are three main characters for the 1st session of Spring Canton Fair:

1, More Chinese visitors, less foreigner visitors.

2, More old customers, less new customers.

3, More visitors from Asia, Africa and Latin America, less from Europe and America.

1st session already finished and today is the first day of 2ed session. The situation probably is the same, but we believe the next Autumn Canton Fair would be better, see you there in October!


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