Global Sources

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Global Sources Limited
IndustryE-commerce, Publishing, Trade shows
Founded1971 (1971)
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Key people
Hu Wei, CEO, Brent Barnes, COO
RevenueUS$157.7 million (31 December 2016)

Global Sources (Chinese: 環球資源) (NASDAQGSOL) is a Hong-Kong based business-to-business (B2B) media company.[1] It facilitates trade from Greater China to the world, using a wide range of English-language media and facilitates trade from the world to Greater China, using Chinese-language media. The company provides sourcing information[2][3] to volume buyers and integrated marketing services to suppliers. In addition, Global Sources verifies the quality of the manufacturer.

The company was founded in November 1970 by Merle A. Hinrichs[1][4] and C. Joseph Bendy as Trade Media Ltd., its first publication, Asian Sources magazine, was launched three months later. At September 1974, the company's first spin-off publication – Asian Sources Electronics appeared. More industry-specific titles were subsequently added.

In 1996, Global Sources launched the industry's first[citation needed]Business-to-Business website,Asian Sources Online and its monthly CD-ROW. Both were designed to supplement and complement the company's trade publications.

The company launched its China Sourcing Fairs in 2003.

Today, more than 1 million international buyers, including 95 of the world's top 100 retailers, use Global Sources services to obtain product and company information to help them source profitably from overseas supply markets.[5][6] These services include

  • China Sourcing Fairs that bring international buyers face-to-face with quality suppliers. Specialized shows take place in Hong Kong,[7][8] New Delhi,[9] Miami,[10] Johannesburg[11] and São Paulo.[12]
  • Online Trade Shows are launched in 2011[13] where buyers can access profiles of each exhibitor's featured products, images of the booths, and videos on companies, products and conference sessions.
  • Private sourcing events create opportunities for pre-selected suppliers to meet privately with buyers representing retail chains.[14][15][16]
  • Global Sources online marketplaces ( allow buyers to contact manufacturers directly for inquiries and purchases[17]
  • Global Sources Magazines feature thousands of informative supplier advertisements. Each of the 19 industry titles provides reports on new products and trends in sourcing. Print, digital[18] and mobile app[19][20] editions are available.
  • China Sourcing Reports provide market intelligence. Each report contains an industry overview, supplier profiles, photo gallery of top-selling products and other market information.[21][22]

In February, 2018 UK-based Clarion Events (owned by Blackstone Group) completed its acquisition of Global Sources.[23]

In April 2018, Global Sources announced the 'significant downsizing' of its Singapore office. In July 2018, Craig Pepples was removed as CEO of Global Sources, after a brief 18-months stint in the position. Replacing Pepples is Hu Wei, former President of Reed Exhibitions in China.


Global Sources, is listed on the NASDAQ exchange (Symbol: GSOL). For the year ended 31 December 2011, revenue was US$225.1 million.[24] For the year ended 31 December 2012, revenue was $231.7 million.[25] For the year ended 31 December 2016, revenue was $157.7 million, compared to $171.0 million in the previous year.[26]


  1. ^ a b So, Sherman; Westland, Christopher (2010). Red Wired: China’s Internet revolution. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 84–92. ISBN 9780462099675.
  2. ^ "Global Sources Top 20 Products". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Ask The Experts". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Merle Allan Hinrichs". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Global Sources metrics – Q4 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Company overview". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Global Sources' electronics shows features 3,900+ booths". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  8. ^ "1,200 booths at Global Sources' spring fashion shows". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Fifth annual China Sourcing Fairs opened today to facilitate closer Sino-Indian trade". Reuters. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Global Sources opens third annual China Sourcing Fairs in Miami amid Sino-Latin American trade growth". The Wall Street Journal. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  11. ^ "South Africa: China Sourcing Fair Ends With Success in South Africa". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Global Sources' China Sourcing Fair in Brazil sold out". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Global Sources Launches Industry's First Online Sourcing Fair". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Global Sources' Private Sourcing Events see strong buyer and supplier support in 2012 despite uncertain economic conditions". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  15. ^ "New Buyers at Private Sourcing Events Double in First Half of 2011". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Global Sources to hold 15 Private Sourcing Events for world retailers with US$665 billion in annual sales". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  17. ^ Cheng, Allen (31 May 2006). "Challenging Alibaba, Global Sources buys stake in rival BUSINESS ASIA". International Herald Tribune  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on 10 June 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Global Sources Introduces e-Magazines". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Global Sources Magazines on Apple App Store". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Global Sources Magazines on Google Play Store". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Research and Markets: China Sourcing Report: CCTV & Surveillance Products Profiles Industry Giants in the Field". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Research and Markets: China Sourcing Report: Fashion Accessories – An Extensive Overview of the Industry Discussing the Main Challenges Facing Suppliers". Reuters. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Global Sources scheduled to report fourth quarter and year-end 2011 results on March 14, 2012" (Press release). Global Sources. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  25. ^ "Global Sources reports fourth quarter and year-end 2012 results" (Press release). Global Sources. 13 March 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  26. ^ ["" "Global Sources reports second half and year-end 2016 results"] Check |url= value (help) (Press release). Global Sources. 16 March 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2018.