Monthly China Digest

by Agency China

Continue reading for this months blog posts and other news, or visit and follow the Agency China LinkedIn page for daily updates. Contact details can be found at the bottom of the page. 


Ingestible Beauty in China through Cross-Border E-Commerce
China’s urbanites want to look as good as possible, for as long as possible. More and more so these younger generations aren’t just spending their hard earned money on creams and serums applied to the face, neck, hands and legs. They are also buying ingestible skincare or edible beauty products. We’ve listed some of the most popular categories and outlined successful brand already operating in the market.
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Local Challenger Takes On Foreign Brands In China’s Supplement Market
There is a new local kid on the block in China’s Supplement market: BUFFX. We love innovative products that unlock new growth, which is why we outlined what BUFFX did to secure early success in China Supplement Market, so we can all learn from and get inspired by their journey and approach!

New Horizons in China’s Pet Food And Pet Accessories Market
The latest scoop on China’s Pet Food and Accessories market in China with our very own Michael Norris. Read what he has to say about the developments in the market and what opportunities are arising and why. And, best of all, you can nog sign up to arrange a free 25 min call with Michael, every Friday till December 31st. This is a unique chance to get some great first hand China knowledge! Now available till December 31. So book your slot quickly!
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China Market Entry Checklist For Foreign Brands
You would like to see if your brand has any potential in China? But where to start?
Agency China has come up with a short checklist to help you put together the most relevant details to decide if the Chinese market is right for your brand!

Influencers Made Foreign Brands Popular in China
Despite disruption to grey-market importers (“Daigou”), other sources of social proof, such as key opinion customers, influencers and celebrities are still critical for new brands to gain traction. Identifying, activating and collaborating sources of social proof is critical for new brands as they enter. AgencyChina typically recommend an activation runway of at least between three and five months before online launch, depending on how well-known the brand is in-market, and how well known it is outside the Chinese market. Yes, you read that well, brand awareness outside China is just as important as that inside China. When entering the market ti might even be more important. Want to know why? Contact us to talk to one of our experts!

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Foreign brands hopeful cruelty-free entry into China will lead to more opportunities
Many cruelty-free cosmetic companies are eagerly anticipating the implementation of the Cosmetics Supervision and Administration Regulation (CSAR) on 1 January 2021. In 2014, China took an initial step away from mandatory animal testing by establishing criteria for waiving this requirement for ‘ordinary’ cosmetics produced in the country. The new CSAR lays the groundwork to extend this waiver to imported ordinary cosmetics as well.
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China’s Consumer Spending Should Be Back to Normal Next Year, Report Says
A new report suggests consumer spending in China will be back on track next year. There are many positive signs that show that consumption is on the rise. Mintel, a consultancy, predicts China’s consumption is likely to climb at a compound annual growth rate of 7.3 percent from next year to 2024.
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Pixi’s Launch on Tmall Global – Key Steps Taken
What does a potential market entry look like in China? This case study a cosmetics brand is a great example of a well balanced and well prepared approach. This UK based skin care and cosmetics brand Pixi Inc. shares insights on how they planned and executed their brand launch in China via Tmall Global. If you are looking to bring your brand to China and want to know more about how Pixi did this get in touch!

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JD Drives the Upgrade of Pet Economy in China

JD Super, the online supermarket of, kicked off its Pet Life Promotion Week starting on Oct 10th with a series of pet products and services on sale, including the popular JD Brand Super Days. According to a Nielsen report on pet food trends in 2020, sales of pet food on JD Super increased sharply from January to July this year, far exceeding the average growth rate of other B2C platforms. Within this period, sales of the popular Chinese pet brand Wanpy rose 15 times. Other popular brands such as Natural Balance, GO! Care, Ramical, Orijen, Solid Gold, and MyFoodie all achieved 200% to 500% growth. Is your company or brand a Pet Market brand? Make sure to investigate your opportunities in the Chinese market!
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China’s changing duty-free strategy

Currently, China taxes imported consumer goods such as garments and beauty products an average of 6.9 percent and high-end cosmetics by 15 percent. But tariffs for many luxury products such as perfumes and watches exceed 30 percent. But, starting from July 1, the quota for individuals making duty-free purchases in Hainan was tripled to 100,000 yuan a year. And the government made unprecedented moves to issue three new duty-free licenses this year, which is a lot compared to only seven duty-free licenses that were issued in four decades!
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IMAX Record-Breaking Opening Weekend National Day Golden Week Holiday In China

China’s movie theaters are still coping with limited capacity, but that hasn’t affected the turnover for IMAX. The company announced that they scored a record-breaking $13 million opening weekend of the National Day Golden Week holiday in China, a historically strong box office period that runs from October 1 to 8 this year. The figure marks IMAX’s best-ever opening weekend for the National Holiday, up 25% over last year despite a 75% capacity limitation across the country. IMAX’s strong rebound in China is led by “The Eight Hundred,” the first Asian film shot entirely with IMAX cameras, which earned $17 million dollars for the company and currently stands as the highest grossing film of the year overall.
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China Wants a Baby Boom. Its Parents Aren’t Interested

The end of China’s one-child policy didn’t result in a baby boom. One of the key reasons is economic – families aren’t financially prepared to have a second child. That has a couple of implications. First, it means larger families are the preserve of China’s elite. Second, it means that single-child families will continue to represent China’s “nuclear family”.
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Add, Subtract, Sprint: China Makes Gym Equal to Math & Language

Presently, one in five Chinese children aged 7 to 18 are overweight or obese, up from 2.6% in 1985. Well, authorities are already acting. Physical education will soon carry the same weight on the national high school entrance exam as Chinese language, mathematics, and English, with fitness class’s weighting to be increased gradually each year until it is on par with the other subjects, China’s education ministry announced Friday.
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Chinese live-streamer made $6b in sales last year, the same amount as Carrefour’s annual China sales

Remember that we said sources of social proof, such as key opinion customers, influencers and celebrities are critical for new brands to gain traction? One staggering statistic to proof the power of KOLs in China is the 6 billion USD in sales that Viya made last year. The art of selling through livestreaming is not for everyone, but when done right the audience can be persuaded to buy the products on display not just because of the major discounts, but because they trust the recommendation of the KOL. “E-commerce livestreaming has redefined the relationship between people and products and consumption,” economist Wu Xiaobo wrote in his blog. “It puts people first, promoting the circulation efficiency of products and creating a consumption occasion. Consumers’ trust in products is subtly replaced by their trust in people.”
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Wenzhou Tops 35 Chinese Cities for Consumption-to-GDP Level

You may have heard of China’s city tiers before, but are there different ways to think about opportunities across China’s vast geography? The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes”! Try per capita consumption, the ratio between personal expenditure and gross domestic product per head. China’s top 10 cities for per capita consumption are Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Xiamen, Changsha and Dongguan. The majority of these are in China’s south.
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China Designers: Meet the Young Designer Turning Fabric Scraps Into High Fashion

While sustainability awareness in China is patchy, a new generation of creatives are using upcycling to make breakthroughs in consumer acceptance. Meet Tong Jianlong, whose label Lowe Tong is made entirely from upcycled and discarded materials. Did you know our team of researchers, marketers and e-commerce professionals can help with sustainable brands in China? Get in touch to find out more.
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New Brands Score Big in Alibaba’s Malaysia Week 2020

Last month, Alibaba Group’s third annual Malaysia Week saw first-time brands performing especially strongly among the 200-plus merchants hailing from the Southeast Asian country. This latest edition, which was expanded to 10 days for the first time, took place across Alibaba’s Tmall, Taobao Live, Juhuasuan, Fliggy and Freshippo platforms, and opened with a livestreamed ceremony that drew 1.7 million views. The rising demand for Malaysian products comes at a time when an increasing number of brands and retailers from the country are tapping Alibaba’s ecosystem to enter or grow their presence in China, both for its sheer market size and its importance as a sales channel, especially during the ongoing global pandemic. Malaysia isn’t the only country that Chinese consumers are looking to buy from. If you have a unique product or brand from your home market contact us to find out what your opportunities are in the Chinese market!

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Chinese Consumers Increasingly Prioritize Immune Health

In the post-COVID era, consumers are increasingly concerned about daily health management and the mutual influence of various sub-health issues and their own immunity. A recent survey has found China’s total healthcare product expenditure increased by 9.0% in 2019, surpassing the growth of overall consumer expenditure (7.2%) in the same period, while usage penetration of vitamins and supplements increased from 48% to 57% from late February to early May. Are you in the healthcare or food supplement business? Now is the time to enter China!

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