Oct 12, 2021 06:33 PM

China Aims to Give Online Cosmetics Sales a Makeover

What’s new: China’s drug regulator has launched a yearlong campaign to clean up sales of illegal cosmetics, targeting products carried by e-commerce operators.

The campaign, which began this month and will last until next October, is targeting products sold online that are unregistered, have fake or misleading labels, or contain harmful ingredients, according to a notice (link in Chinese) published by the National Medical Products Administration on Monday.

Beauty products that were singled out in the notice include chemical peels, whitening products and cosmetics derived from stem cells. In August, the regulator issued a notice highlighting the safety risks of chemical peel procedures and banned over-the-counter cosmetics from claiming or implying medical benefits. The regulator told businesses to avoid inappropriate marketing terms such as “skin renewal” that could mislead consumers.

The background: The campaign follows the implementation of the Cosmetic Supervision and Administration Regulation in January, as well as the Cosmetics Manufacture and Operation Administration Measures set to take effect next January.

Chinese consumers spend big on skincare and make-up. According to research by iiMedia (link in Chinese), China’s cosmetics market is projected to be worth 478.1 billion yuan ($74.1 billion) this year and 512.5 billion yuan in 2023.

However, the breakneck growth has also led to serious problems, rampant misconduct and illegal activity. Despite high growth, the industry suffers from low margins, due mainly to high marketing costs, resulting in product providers using fake or exaggerated claims to lure customers.

 Read more  
In Depth: China’s Booming Medical Beauty Industry Braces for State Makeover

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Kelsey Cheng ( and editor Michael Bellart (

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