Korean Stars Engage in Beauty Business in China
A number of Korean celebrities are initiating their own cosmetic enterprises to keep up with the popularity of Korean TV dramas and K-pop in Asia.
Actress Lee Young-ae, who modeled for cosmetic brands LG Household & Health Care's The History of Whoo and Amore Pacific's Mamonde, has recently launched her own line of cosmetics Lyanature. The brand is best-selling in China, where Lee's "Jewel in the Palace" soap was a big hit.
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Actress Go Hyun-jung, famed for her radiant skin, also established the cosmetic brand Koy through her agency IOK Company in September. The brand was released in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong in November.
Most sought-after actress Ha Ji-won, who has endorsed lots of cosmetic brands including Olay and VOV, recently unveiled her own brand J. ONE, which will soon be released in China.
Other celebrities, including former Girls' Generation member Jessica and actress Lee Mi-yeon, who modeled for Amore Pacific's Hanyul, are reportedly planning to launch their own cosmetic brands. Apart from these big stars, entertainment companies are also rushing into the beauty market, with their own top actors and musicians.
YG Entertainment, one of the largest music labels in Asia, released its own brand Moonshot in 2014, running 25 stores in Malaysia and Singapore. Keyeast, run by actor and businessman Bae Yong-joon, released The Oozoo brand in October. It features hunk actor Park Seo-joon to ensure large sales in the Chinese market.
Since China is recognized as Asia's biggest beauty market, celebrities and entertainment firms are now establishing cosmetic enterprises in the country, as per observations from many industry watchers.
"Companies gain more edges in the Asian market with stars promoting their own cosmetic products and saving on marketing costs. However, it remains to be seen whether these will have strong sales, especially that the market is already saturated, specifically in China," says researcher Kim Chang-kwon from KDB Daewoo Securities.