The Cosmetics Market in China: Market Overview, Entry Strategy and Exporting Requirements

report| 10 January 2017

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Find out if your cosmetic brand has a chance in the Chinese market, how to build an effective business strategy and get your products through Chinese customs.

An emphatic yes…that’s the answer to the question if the cosmetics market in China will significantly grow in the next four years.

This 49-page report will provide you with comprehensive information to help your company evaluate whether your cosmetic brand is ready to enter the Chinese market, understand who your competitors and targeted consumers are, what costs will be involved and what processes you will face ahead.

Chinese women in their 20s prefer to purchase whole sets of products from a single brand, while women in the 30 to 40 years bracket buy less but spend more on the highest quality products, and teenage girls are more willing to try new products. These are only a few market research findings revealed in this report.

Among the challenges faced by European brands, we find that Korean and Chinese domestic brands have become more popular in the past few years among Chinese consumers. New market access rules introduced in 2015 require companies to register new ingredients first, and animal testing is still required for imported brands.

Nevertheless, the market opportunities are phenomenal: consumers’ demand for premium brands is strong; E-commerce platforms facilitate market entry, the sales of men’s cosmetics and baby products are on the rise, and there has been a substantial decrease on import tariffs.

Learn in this report the best entry route for your cosmetics in China, including traditional distribution channels, retailers, E-commerce, and all of the market structure you need to know if you are pondering the selling of your cosmetics in China.

The second part of the report provides step-by-step instructions on how to get your products through Chinese customs and launch them in the market.

Contents PART I – Market Overview Definition and Classification Market Overview

  • Size, Performance and Major Changes
  • Import Trends
  • Key Market Drivers
  • Market Outlook and Forecast
  • Recent Trends in the Market
  • Competitive Landscape: Major Chinese Players and Major Foreign Players
  • Top Selling Products and Price
  • The Chinese Consumers
  • Reach and Retain The Consumers
  • Distribution and Retail
  • Retail Channels

Market Strategy Policies and Regulations

  • Administrative Level
  • Labelling
  • Customs
  • Tax and Tariffs

Opportunities and Challenges Practical Market Entry Advice for EU SMEs Trade Shows Relevant Trade Associations Government Department Websites PART II – Market Access: Technical Requirements and Regulations Introduction to Regulations in China’s Cosmetic Sector

  • Definition and Classification of Cosmetics in China
  • Policy and Regulations Update(s)
  • Administration
  • Market Access Requirements

Guide to Exporting Cosmetics to China–How to Apply for CFDA Administrative Approval Step-by-step Guide for CFDA Administrative Approval

Step-by-step Approach

  • Appoint a Chinese agent
  • Sample testing
  • Application dossier
  • Evaluation

Duration and Cost of Registration

Other Relevant Import-Export Documents

About the Authors

Eva Yang, Advisor, China-Britain Business Council (CBBC)

Eva Yang has been at the CBBC for five years. Her research projects focus on education & training and food & beverage sectors, but she has experience helping UK companies develop in many other sectors. As Resource Manager, Eva manages the pipeline of all research projects across China, assigning projects to the researchers best suited. She is also CBBC’s key liaison for advising UK companies on establishing a representative office in Shanghai. For Eva’s first two years at the CBBC she was specialised in organising events for CBBC and UKTI. Eva graduated from East China Normal University with a master’s in British & American Literature. She majored in translation and has been involved in translating three published books.

Carol Wang, Senior Project Manager, China-Britain Business Council (CBBC)

Carol Wang works at CBBC’s Nanjing office and has extensive project management experience in a wide range of industry sectors. She is also a part of CBBC’s nationwide Life Sciences and ICT research speciality teams. Carol has a broad business background working for international companies, and has served both Chinese and foreign clients. Before joining CBBC, Carol worked for a Dutch leather chemicals company for three years as a global sourcing officer in Nanjing. She sourced raw materials and managed key suppliers to ensure a reliable, quality assured, supply chain.

After completing her studies in the UK, Carol worked as a sourcing manager for a US biotechnology company in Shanghai, working with producers in China to develop long-term business relationships with her American employer. Carol holds a bachelor’s degree in Business & Management from the University of Northampton.

Aideen Clery, Trade Services Manager, China- Britain Business Council (CBBC)

Aideen Clery assists with the delivery of Business Support Services (BSS) projects across CBBC’s 13 offices in China. She has worked on over 400 BSS projects and other CBBC Research projects since joining CBBC in 2012. Aideen has worked on reports covering various sectors including food & beverage, advanced engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics and retail amongst others; Aideen has therefore developed knowledge of the challenges companies face when entering in the Chinese market. Aideen came to China in July 2012. In September 2016, she transferred to Belfast, to head up CBBC’s Northern Ireland office. Aideen has a BA in Language and Cultural Studies and Masters in International Relations.

Martina Gerst, Market Access Advisor, EU SME Centre

Martina provides advice for European SMEs on market access issues across ten different sectors. Responsible for standards and conformity assessment and heading up the training team at the Centre, Martina also customises training workshops for companies preparing to do business in China.

Martina is a contributor to a number of intergovernmental projects between the EU and China that span a range of areas such as trade secrecy and new energy vehicles. These projects draw on Martina’s professional experience in Europe, the US and China over two decades. During this time Martina held various senior positions for leading international companies and SMEs. Martina holds a PhD and an LLM in Innovation, Technology, and Law from the University of Edinburgh in the UK.

Rafael Jimenez, Business Development Advisor, EU SME Centre

With more than six years’ hands-on experience in managing a business in China, Rafael offers advice for European SMEs in developing practical market entry strategies in the country.

Following a career at a senior level within the F&B and ICT industry, he arrived in China in 2009 as Director of a Spanish F&B company involved in the restaurant and trade business. He helped the company set up a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) in China, ran operations for three years and led a team of more than 100 employees. More recently he was Shanghai Office Director at a Management Consultancy Firm. Born in Spain, Rafael holds a bachelor of Physics and has three sons.

Domenico Di Liello, Knowledge Centre Coordinator, EU SME Centre

Domenico Di Liello is supporting EU SMEs in their business development to China at the EU SME Centre in Beijing. Having joined in 2012, Domenico conducts research on different aspects of the Chinese business environment, with a special focus on the green-tech and E-commerce sectors. He has worked on various B2B events and trade missions in China. He first moved to China in 2006 and has been living in China consecutively since 2010. He is particularly interested in field research on the environmental sustainability of Chinese economic growth.

Domenico holds a Masters degree in Political Sciences and a Bachelors degree in Literature and Philosophy from Naples University “L’Orientale”. He also has a Masters degree from the School of Economics at the Renmin University of China, Beijing.

Sign up and benefit from our entire range of free services

If you sign up today you’ll be able to

  • Access to tailored advice through our Ask-the-Expert tool
  • A library of over 200 publications
  • Practical business tools
  • A network of trade promotion and business support partners
  • A comprehensive database of service providers with contact information