Korean cosmetics still top in China

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Korean cosmetics still top in China

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Korean cosmetics are still dominating Chinese online shopping malls, but when it comes to brand power, they’ve got some making up to do.

According to AccomMate, the biggest distribution channel for Korean products in China via e-commerce, Korea ranked No. 1 in cosmetics sold to Chinese consumers on major Chinese e-commerce websites, including Taobao and Tmall, between June and August.

But in terms of individual brands, Korean companies fell on their face - only Hera made the top five by sales.

Roughly 68.8 billion won ($60.8 million) in Korean cosmetics was purchased online during the period. France came in second with 38.1 billion won, followed by Japan (24 billion won), China (23 billion won), the United States (19.8 billion won), Italy (6.2 billion won) and Thailand (4.5 billion won).

This was the second consecutive year that Korea ranked first. The nation saw sales increase 28 percent, or 15.3 billion won more than the 53.5 billion won recorded over the same period last year.

However, Japanese cosmetics saw a much sharper growth at 122 percent, from 10.8 billion won to 24 billion won during the same period.

Thailand was also a winner. The country’s cosmetics brands failed to be included in the top 30 sold in China last year, but this year, Thailand’s Mistine cosmetics ranked 22. Overall, Thailand ranked seventh by country.

Not all nations thrived. France, though ranked second by overall sales, saw its sales of cosmetics in China drop more than 10 percent, from 42.7 billion won in 2014 to 38.1 billion won this year. The sales of American products halved, from 36.9 billion won last year to 19.8 billion won. Even China’s own cosmetics sales online have fallen by 25.6 percent, from 30.9 billion won last year to 23 billion won.

Still, the study also showed Korean companies lacked brand power compared to internationals.

France’s luxury Dior took the top spot for the second straight year, although sales fell year on year. This year, it sold 20.3 billion won worth of cosmetics, a near 18 percent decline from the 24.7 billion won made last year. The second-ranked company was China’s own Carslan, followed by American brand Maybelline. Korea’s Hera took fourth, while Japan’s Shiseido ranked fifth.

Shiseido saw its standing jump seven places, from 12th last year.

Korean brand Innisfree also saw its rank rise from 22nd to 10th.

The biggest loser was AmorePacific’s IOPE, which tumbled from eighth last year to 27th.


BY LEE HYUN-TAEK [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]
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