Post-90s generation gives impetus to China’s medical beauty market: survey
Photo: SoYoung App
China’s medical beauty market began to gain momentum in 2015 with a 40 percent year-on-year growth, far exceeding the global average of 7 percent. In 2017, it is predicted that 14 million people in the country would use medical beauty services, according to a survey by China’s most engaged mobile app in the industry.

SoYoung, with 6,600 legitimate medical beauty institutions and 15,000 licensed doctors registered on its platform, is now being used by 20 million potential medical beauty consumers in the country. It has recently published its annual survey for the third consecutive year, showing that “among every 2.5 consumers worldwide, one is Chinese.” Meanwhile, SoYoung revealed that behind the booming market, the post-90s consumers aged under 25 constitute the main driving force.

The medical beauty app has conducted a survey among its 200,000 users, referenced 300,000 orders placed through its platform over the past three years, and interviewed 100 institutions in the industry offline. The survey report also used third-party data from Zero2IPO, Deloitte and Sina.

SoYoung said that among every 100 Chinese consumers, 53 are under the age of 25. “They turn to science and technology to make their eyes bigger, nose more prominent and skin to have finer texture. 51 percent of the surveyed young girls said they use medical beauty to please themselves; 17 percent wanted to please their spouses while 26 percent said they need to meet job demands,” the survey showed. By comparison, 74 percent of consumers in the US are aged over 36, and they seek solutions for anti-aging.

From 2017, the total consumption of medical beauty services by white-collars, students and housewives in China has exceeded that by entertainment celebrities or live-stream stars for whom outer beauty is a necessity.

The report also revealed people with high income are more likely to use medical beauty services. “80 percent of females with monthly salaries exceeding RMB 30,000 are considering the services, while 5 percent of them once spent over RMB 200,000 annually on such services,” the survey showed.

And, it may not be easy to call a stop for “the quest for beauty”. Jin Xing, the founder of SoYoung, said medical beauty consumers would usually go back to their doctors every three to six months, and 92 percent of those who have placed an order through SoYoung would make a repurchase. “That means most of people really become addicted to plastic surgeries.

Meanwhile, the report warned that with the rapid growth, supply apparently falls short of demand now. So, institutions and practitioners without qualification are proliferating in the market. “Some beauticians perform high-risk treatments on consumers after merely five days’ training,” said the report.

As early as in 2010, Wang Bei, a popular talent show singer died during a plastic surgery, casting unfavorable light on Chinese people’s obsession with beauty. The death also fueled concerns about the dangers of plastic surgery.

It is reported by the state media that there are more than 6,000 beauty parlors in south China’s Dongguan, with 95 percent touting to be able to perform medical beauty procedures. However, the industrial town bordering Guangzhou only has 43 legitimate medical beauty institutions. In Beijing, there are 260 institutions that are licensed to do medical cosmetology. 


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