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WSET resumes courses inside mainland China

vino-joy.com by Natalie Wang20/07/2022  

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Despite getting an approval earlier in January that WSET could resume its operation in China, course providers inside the country were unable to offer WSET courses and qualifications until now.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the leading global provider of wine, spirits, and sake qualifications, has announced that from today its approved course providers inside mainland China can start offering WSET courses and qualifications again, 17 months after WSET’s operation in China was abruptly suspended last January.

WSET’s operation inside mainland China was interrupted after it was revealed it failed to comply with China’s strict NGO laws. Early this January, WSET announced that it has obtained approval from Chinese authorities to resume its operation inside the country. However, course providers on the mainland complained that despite the approval, they were not allowed to offer WSET courses yet.

Operating now as an approved overseas non-government organisation (ONGO), WSET seems to have finally cleared all administrative hurdles in the country, and has set up a Representative Office in Shanghai earlier this year.

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The news was met with jubilee on the mainland with wine educators and students celebrating and sharing the news on social media and WeChat groups. China for years ranked as one of WSET’s biggest markets for wine, spirits and sake education. It is ranked as the education provider’s 4th biggest market in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Commenting on WSET’s long-awaited resumption of courses, WSET’s Chief Representative for China Willa Yang said: “We are pleased to announce that the wait is over! We have over 90 course providers in the Chinese Mainland who are ready to offer WSET qualifications again. Existing students can now complete the courses they started before 29th January 2021 and new students can embark on their WSET journeys. We’re grateful to the administrative authorities in China who have supported us throughout this process.”

CEO Michelle Brampton added, “I am delighted that WSET can now continue its mission in the Chinese Mainland to empower and inspire drinks trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts with renewed energy and focus. The Chinese Mainland is an important market for WSET and I look forward to us re-establishing an active presence here for the benefit of our existing and future students.”

WSET’s global network of offices include London, Hong Kong SAR, and West Hartford (Connecticut, USA) and most recently in Shanghai.