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Carlsberg China

Carlsberg Group in China

Carlsberg is one of the first international brewers to export beer to China, starting more than 150 years ago. In the mid-19th century, the first batch of Carlsberg beer traveled halfway around the world to China. Like other commodities representing the western lifestyle, Carlsberg began to accumulate fame in this ancient empire. At that time, Carlsberg was seen as a kind of special “wine” and was served in Chinese bars.

Carlsberg officially began its business in Greater China in 1978. The company inaugurated the Carlsberg Brewery in Hong Kong in 1981, which became the base for Carlsberg’s expansion into mainland China. In 1995, Carlsberg acquired a major shareholding in a brewery in Huizhou, Guangdong. From that time on, Carlsberg’s presence in the mainland was assured. In 1999, all production was moved from Hong Kong to Huizhou. The Carlsberg Brewery Guangdong in Huizhou now supplies products to mainland China, Hong Kong, and the Macau markets. After 2000, Carlsberg expanded its footprint to the western territories of China. It accelerated the acquisition of shareholdings in breweries in West China.

Carlsberg not only concentrated on manufacturing high-quality beer but also focused on developing products that better fulfilled consumers’ demands, as well as nurturing consumers’ tastes and demands. In order to better cater to this new approach, Carlsberg implemented a brand extension strategy and West China strategy in the Chinese market. Today, Carlsberg has full ownership or joint ventures in seven provinces.

For Carlsberg, the West China Strategy is not about taking over the market or brand replacement. Rather, through the acquisitions, Carlsberg is trying to raise Chinese beer brewing standards in order to provide better beer for more people, and carry out its commitment of growing together with local community, partners, suppliers, and employees. While keeping the local brands in the West, Carlsberg is assisting the acquired breweries to reconstruct and upgrade their facilities, as well as introducing advanced technology, brewing methods, and management approaches. As a result of these efforts, Carlsberg has become the leading brewery group in West China.

Today, Carlsberg markets 20 different brews in China, namely, Carlsberg Smooth Beer, Carlsberg Light, Kronenbourg 1664, Brooklyn, Tuborg, Tuburg Ye, Grimbergen, Wind Flower Snow & Moon, Xixia, Wusu, Xinjiang, Lhasa, Dali, Huanghe, Shancheng and Chongqing, as well as 2 non-beer brands, Booster and Jolly Shandy. In light of the brand portfolio, Carlsberg caters to consumers on different drinking occasions, and meanwhile changes their drinking habits and nurtures their desire for drinking.

Key Facts

Breweries: 25
Market Position: 1 (Western China, including Chongqing)


8/F, Tower E, Phase III, GT-Land Plaza,13 Zhu Jiang East Road,
TianHe District,Guangzhou 510627, GD,P.R.C.

Tel: +86 20 2801 6300

Key Dates

1860s Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong under construction
1978 Inauguration of Carlsberg Brewery Hong Kong
1981 Carlsberg Brewery Guangdong set up in Huizhou
2004 Together with local partners, Carlsberg invests in greenfield brewery in Qinghai – with production starting in 2005
2004 China and Hong Kong launch Carlsberg Chill
2004 Carlsberg increases shareholding in Wusu Brewery Group to 50% and later via Xinjiang Hops Co. Ltd holds 10% of Wusu
2005 Through a joint venture with Ningxia Nongken Enterprise Group, Carlsberg establishes a greenfield brewery in Ningxia Autonomous Region
2006 Carlsberg was appointed as the sole distributor of Sol
2011 Carlsberg launches Carlsberg Light in China
2012 Tuborg launched in China
2013 Carlsberg signs a partnership with the Chinese Super League
2016 Carlsberg China Trading Company is officially set up
2017 The Tianmuhu Brewery successfully changes its name to Carlsberg Tianmuhu Beer (jiangsu) Co., Ltd.

Did you know that...?

  • Lhasa Brewery is the highest altitude brewery in Carlsberg Group at 3,700 metres above sea level.
  • The Lhasa and Huanghe brands have been awarded the highly prestigious 'China Famous Trademark' status, which has only been granted to nine other beer brands.
  • In 2006, the Carlsberg Brewery in Huizhou gained ISO 14000 certification for environmental protection. Lhasa Brewery is expected to receive this certification very soon.
  • In 2012 Carlsberg China was included in the Guiness Book of Records for 'Most People Opening Beer Bottles in a Relay.'
  • From 2014-2016, Carlsberg China will be the only official beer partner of Chinese Super League