Korean beauty still popular with China as 'next generation' brands emerge

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Korean beauty still popular with China as 'next generation' brands emerge

Related tags Retailing Korea

Early sales figures from the new Shilla iPark online duty-free store confirm Chinese customers still place Korean beauty brands firmly among their favourites.

In recent years, Korean beauty has exploded in popularity, seeing particular success in nearby China: a report from the Korean International Trade Association revealed that 22.1 per cent of China's imported cosmetics in 2015 were Korean.

Judging by the recent Shilla iPark figures, a new generation of both brands and consumers is now continuing this trend.

Next generation products

Shilla iPark is a recently launched duty-free department store, situated in Yongsan, the largest integrated shopping facility in Korea, and a major transport and travel hub.

It sees particularly strong footfall of both outbound Korean passengers, and inbound Chinese tourists.

Shilla marketing director, Jong ho Choi, spoke recently to DFNI Online​ about the rising popularity of new Korean brands.

One remarkable difference [to sales trends in recent years] is the growth of next generation K-cosmetics​,” he explained.

Major K-cosmetics such as Sulwhasoo or The History of Whoo are still shining, but young Chinese customers are finding strangers like 3CE and Chosungah22 hot and trendy​.”

Younger consumer demographic

The popularity of these new brands is “sky-rocketing​”, according to Choi, and he pins this firmly on the new, younger consumer type the store attracts.

The location of Shilla iPark Duty-Free gives an advantage in gaining interest of young and trendy Chinese free independent travellers,​” he explained.

The store will surely focus on introducing new K-wave beauty and fashion brands for young Chinese customers’ needs​.”

Firm favourites


The figures confirm that Korean cosmetics rank highly among Chinese consumers' preferred beauty brands, a trend which has already been evidenced by the rise of Korean brands' R&D and manufacturing facilities within mainland China.

AmorePacific recently took its products on a roadshow in China, looking to further drum up popularity in the country.

“Korean beauty products are perceived as high quality and safe, which greatly helps us do business on the mainland,” ​acompany spokesperson recently explained.

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