Korean beauty products have reached unprecedented heights of popularity in China, where they account for nearly a quarter of cosmetics imports – a 126% increase on the year. That surge in demand is reflected in the increased number of searches for Korean brands on search engines and e-commerce sites.
Users of China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, search more for Korean brand Innisfree than any other Beauty brand, according to L2’s Insight Report: The Rise of Korean Brands. Moreover, six of the 10 brands that saw the most Baidu search growth in 2015 were either Korean or Japanese, indicating a major shift in demand.
The study also finds that Korean brands generate 42 times more conversations on Weibo than the average Index brand. With more than 2,100 Weibo mentions per month, Laneíge leads all of its competitors. Korean brands are also generating interest on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces, where Innisfree and Laneíge are among the top 10 most-searched brands. Fellow Korean companies Etude House and The Face Shop currently occupy 11th and 12th place, but given the momentum of Korean cosmetics as a whole, it seems like only a matter of time until they crack the top 10.