You wouldn’t try to sell coal to Newcastle. So how would you rate your chances of peddling meat substitutes to the country that invented tofu?

Beyond Meat Inc., the U.S. maker of plant-based burgers and sausages, last week announced a new product designed to crack China, the world’s biggest meat market: imitation ground pork.

It’s not hard to see why this was a necessary step. For decades, China has consumed about half the world’s pork. Even in the wake of an epidemic of African swine fever, which caused the domestic herd to shrink by nearly a third, pig meat still accounted for about two-thirds of China’s livestock consumption in 2019. (In a good year, it’s more like three-quarters.)