China Focus: Our top stories featuring China’s cosmetics industry

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Most-read news pieces about China, featuring Shiseido, A.S. Watson, Drunk Elephant and more. ©GettyImages
Most-read news pieces about China, featuring Shiseido, A.S. Watson, Drunk Elephant and more. ©GettyImages

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We round up of our most-read news pieces about China, featuring Shiseido, A.S. Watson, Drunk Elephant and more.

1 – Shiseido gets sporty: Firm targets fitness-buffs to strengthen brand equity in China

Shiseido plans to align itself with China’s endeavours to promote public health and utilise sports as a strategy to strengthen the brand’s value in the eyes of the Chinese consumer.

Speaking at the company’s presentation of its 2019 first-half results, president and CEO Masahiko Uotani believes the sports industry is set to grow because of China’s Healthy China 2030 initiative.

Driven by President Xi, the initiative puts health at the centre of the country’s entire policy-making machinery, with health outcomes having to be included in all new programmes.

“China’s age structure is changing and income is increasing. There is a policy launched by the government and I think the medical and sports industries will be enhanced and should grow. It’s said that [Chinese] people [participating] in marathons have increased significantly but it is still considered low. We will see explosive growth going forward so Shiseido and Anessa would like to cooperate,” ​said Uotani.

The Japanese cosmetics company has already begun investing in this strategy with two high-profile title sponsorships: the tennis WTA Finals Shenzhen and the Cup of China ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

2 – Need for speed: Agility and responsiveness key to succeeding in China’s hyperactive beauty market – A.S. Watson

The COO of beauty retailer A.S. Watson believes speed and the agility to respond to market changes are key to capitalising on the immense opportunities for personal care in China.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, the Chinese beauty market saw its skin care and make-up categories increase 13% and 17% respectively during 2018, outperforming total FMCG growth rates.

For the first half of 2019, A.S. Watson subsidiary, Watsons China, delivered a healthy EBITDA margin of 19% and revenue growth of 8%.

From June 2018 to June 2019, the health and beauty retail group increased store numbers in China by 9% and it plans to continue opening more doors.

Last April, the company announced it planned to open over 1,300 stores this year, and over one-third was planned for China, reflecting the size of the opportunity A.S. Watson sees in the market.

3 – Drunk Elephant furthers Asian expansion with Tmall launch in China

Clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant is set to debut in the Chinese market via cross-border e-commerce platform Tmall.

Entering the burgeoning Chinese market is a strategic move for the US-based skin care brand, where the brand already enjoys a strong following.

“We have been overwhelmed already by the enthusiasm and interest of the Chinese people. We have been getting many requests from our fan base in China asking when we will launch​,” said Tiffany Masterson, founder of Drunk Elephant.

She added: “At our recent House of Drunk pop-up in New York last June, we were delighted to see visiting Chinese shoppers stocking up on Drunk Elephant to bring home, which was such an encouraging sign. It’s going to be a thrilling experience to launch in China and we hope we are well-received.”

Drunk Elephant is still relatively new to the Asian market. The brand first expanded into Asia last November with a launch in Singapore via Sephora SEA.

4 – CEO of Aussie spa brand eyes further expansion into China following successful market entry

Australian beauty and wellness company endota is eyeing further expansion into China and SEA as consumers continue to perceive self-care as an essential rather than a luxury.

Melanie Gleeson, founder and CEO of endota told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the company was optimistic about its opportunities at home and abroad considering how fast the global wellness market was growing.

“Though considered relatively young, it’s now worth a staggering $4.2 trillion, making it one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. The future holds a focus on everyday wellness integrated as part of everything we do and not limited to being a treat or a luxury.”

The firm is especially interested in the Chinese market: “With the need to focus on wellness in China it feels like a natural fit for the women of China to experience endota,” said Gleeson

She continued: “Our philosophy is that wellness is an essential – not a luxury. We believe self-care is a selfless act because when you are well, so is the world around you. This sentiment resonates with Australian and Chinese woman who commonality shares the increasing pressure of being the central figure in the family unit and career. ”

5 — SUQQU launches on Tmall Global to reach Chinese beauty consumers and boost international sales

Luxury Japanese beauty brand SUQQU is stepping up its international presence by launching its flagship on Tmall Global capitalise on the demand from Chinese beauty consumers.

SUQQU is a beauty brand under Équipe, a member of the Kanebo Cosmetics family. Expanding into China via the country’s largest cross-border e-commerce platform is part of the firm’s strategy to boost its international sales.

“The new SUQQU online space marks a full-scale launch of cross-border e-commerce operations to be staged in step with the strong growth in domestic inbound demand for SUQQU products. Beyond Équipe’s current business operations in five countries and regions, the company will be scaling up international sales by establishing its first official sales channels in mainland China,” said the company in a statement.

SUQQU’s Tmall entry follows the launch of its Weibo social media account in 2017, when the company began to notice the rapid increase of inbound demand from Chinese tourists in Japan.

Since then, Équipe has been preparing for a full-scale brand launch in China by steadily releasing SUQQU content to its’s 490,000 Weibo followers.

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