China's 'Hai tao' shoppers boosting cosmetic sales

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

China's 'Hai tao' shoppers boosting cosmetic sales

Related tags People's republic of china Sales

'Hai tao' shopping, otherwise known as online buying from overseas, is fast growing in China as consumers are eager to buy products that are either unavailable or over-priced in their own country.

While e-commerce is booming in China and numerous international retailers have set up Chinese e-commerce sites, many consumers are also buying products from overseas online retailers.

'Hai tao' buyers, driven by product quality and authenticity, mainly comprises young and well-educated shoppers spending more money online than average Chinese e-shoppers.

The most popular product categories bought from overseas includes skin care, colour cosmetics, women’s clothing, perfume, toys and health supplements.

By 2018, 35.6 million 'hai tao' shoppers will spend 1 trillion yuan

According to market researcher Nielsen; 18 million Chinese shoppers spent 216 bn yuan by 'hai tao' in 2013, buying numbers that are set to rise to 35.6 m by 2018, with spending of up to 1 tn yuan.

Chinese online buyers bought the most goods from the United States followed by Hong Kong, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Korea, Denmark, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Sweden.

To date, six cities - Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Chongqing - have designated import e-commerce pilot zones, where foreign goods can be stored in bonded warehouses before customs clearance.

FDA introduces 'supervising regulation' for online cosmetic sellers

The China Food and Drug Administration has published a draft regulation for public consultation that will tighten the control of online sales of cosmetics.

The CFDA has cracked down on false advertising, and information about certain drugs will not be allowed to be published online.

The marketing claims of some cosmetics sold online prompted the CFDA to publish a draft regulation on Nov. 15th.

The regulation requires online cosmetic sellers to provide adequate lab and evaluation data for the marketing claims of their products as well as trading platforms to check the qualifications of cosmetics and drug sellers.

China has over 630 million Internet users and this rule will prohibit producers and wholesalers from selling products to online consumers, and will require sellers of food, health food, cosmetics, and medical apparatus and instruments to obtain permits.

Moreover, online shopping website operators are required to compensate consumers if the operators can't provide the identity and contact information of the cosmetic seller to the consumer once complaints occur.

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