Monday, May 20, 2024

Interview

Kim Hyeong-yeol, CEO of WEILIMEITIAN COSMETICS CO.,LTD.

“The Chinese market is over? Look at the consumer and judge for yourself!”

Advice from a Chinese practical expert with over 20 years of experience... You have to experience the rapidly changing distribution environment and consumer changes firsthand.

“You can see as much as you know, feel as much as you see, understand as much as you feel, and realize and practice as much as you understand.”

 

The future of the Chinese cosmetics industry, market, and consumers is seen by a few people who have gone through the entire process from the front line of the Chinese cosmetics market to product planning, marketing, sales, and CEO over the past 20 years, which has seen a 'big bang' level of growth. What will the purchasing pattern be like?

 

Although it is a broad issue that an interview of one or two hours would not be enough, one word emphasized by Kim Hyeong-yeol, CEO of WEILIMEITIAN COSMETICS CO.,LTD.(Hangzhou, China), can be summarized as “Find the answer on the spot.”

 

This means that we must now erase the 'COVID-19 pandemic' of the past three years from our minds. The trend of exports to China, which has been plummeting since last year, suggests that we should not worry while sitting at our office desks, but rather find an exit strategy at the center of the Chinese cosmetics market, which is changing day by day.

 

“We are not unaware of the worries and concerns of Korean companies that are concerned about K-beauty through various numerical indicators. However, there are many factors intertwined here that are difficult to explain in words. As someone who has encountered the Chinese cosmetics market since it began to grow in earnest, I can never agree with the assessment and judgment that ‘K-beauty is over in China.’ “For women aged 20 to 45, who are the core Chinese consumers of K-beauty, K-beauty is still an attractive ‘it item.’”

 

 

CEO Kim's judgment is based on his career as a 'Chinese cosmetics expert' and the business results he has achieved so far.

 

This is a judgment that can be made by serving as the CEO of Proya Cosmetics and Hana Cosmetics (a subsidiary of Proya Cosmetics) after working at the Chinese branch of Koreana Cosmetics, and by playing the role of a field commander who personally experienced the whirlwind of changes in Chinese cosmetics distribution.

 

“Because the issue, scalability, and explosive power of online are so great, some Korean companies are overlooking the importance of offline. Of course, I understand the concern that it cannot be burdensome, such as the costs required for the entire process, including organization building. However, there is less interest and investment in the final goal, consumers and customers. “That part is very unfortunate.”

 

So, what is the potential for a new opportunity or reversal in K-beauty as predicted by this expert?

 

First of all, product competitiveness. It is pointed out that it is currently difficult to find steady sellers in China due to the power of online channel-centered and influencer-led sales. The product lifespan is ‘extremely’ short and the trend cycle is also a roller coaster.

 

In contrast, the logic is that Korean brands and products have ample potential for a long run based on quality and can naturally be positioned as steady sellers.

 

In addition, there is a pile of 'good products' that have not seen the light of day for as many as three years due to the Chinese government's quarantine policy. There is no need to mention the product planning power of K-Beauty, so it is necessary to get those products into the hands of Chinese consumers.

 

The fact that positive factors, such as the easing of Chinese government policies and the expectation of a return from anti-Japanese sentiment (polluted water discharge), are continuing is also a bright spot for the future market outlook.

 

“And one thing that cannot be overemphasized is hygiene. Aside from the burden of cost, you must receive it in advance. Hygiene permit is a tool like ‘shoes’ that K-beauty must wear in order to run properly. Standing at the starting line, barefoot? It means I won't run. The blocked skyway has also been opened. Please, find the answer on the spot. And be sure to remember the heavy K-beauty users aged 20 to 45. “You will be able to find the power of revival and reversal in those who are still immersed in the charm of K-beauty.”

 

It contains the earnest appeal of a Chinese cosmetics expert who hopes for a dramatic rise of Korean cosmetics and K-beauty.