Fengxian beefing up beauty, health industries
As part of Fengxian New City's development plan and an important factor in Shanghai's 14th Five-Year Plan, the district in southeast Shanghai has set out an ambitious target to enhance its beauty, health and wellness industries.
According to Shanghai's overall plans to foster industry-town integration, establish complete functions, create a balance between workplaces and residential areas, build eco-friendly living areas, improve transportation convenience and ensure efficient governance, Fengxian is creating more growth drivers, new highlights, and boosters, as well as new spaces, images and breakthroughs.
Beauty and personal care companies with official manufacturing certification in Fengxian account for 35 percent of the beauty companies in the city, and their industrial output makes up 41 percent of the city's overall beauty and personal care industry size.
Director of the Fengxian District Investment Promotion Office and head of Oriental Beauty Valley's Promotion Office Gu Weixing said the district aims to double its industry value by 2025.
"We will boost the development momentum and deepen penetration in niche segments in the beauty, health and wellness industries, and we plan to set up an innovation platform that links government bodies and enterprises to boost the integrated and unified development of biotech, medical devices and beauty tech," Gu said.
The three pillar industries in the Oriental Beauty Valley include biopharmaceuticals, beauty and cosmetics, and food and health-related segments.
The biopharmaceutical industry in the area, which includes top players like Wuxi Apptec, Junshi Biosciences, Shanghai Hutchison Pharmaceuticals and Leiyunshang, aims to increase industry size and double industry value to 40 billion yuan (US$6.24 billion) by 2025.
The capital of China's cosmetics industry is now home to dozens of renowned domestic and overseas companies.
It will also emphasize the food and health sectors, drive high-end and emerging consumer sectors and revive time-honored brands like Bright Food, Guanshengyuan and Ding Feng Food.
Fengxian also aims to build an innovation ecosystem with venture capital firms and investment funds like Perseverance Asset Management and state-backed Guosheng Group Industry Investment Fund to support full life-cycle development modes.
Specialty industry parks targeting food and beverages and pet-related products and services are also under planning.
The market size of Shanghai's skincare and makeup industry is expected to reach 100 billion yuan by 2025 from about 70 billion yuan in 2019, according to executive director Jin Jian of the Shanghai Daily Chemistry Trade Association.
The beauty industry is experiencing booming growth in China.
China's consumer goods fell by 3.9 percent last year, while total cosmetics sales grew by 9.5 percent year on year.
In the post-pandemic era, demand for stay-at-home products and services, and pursuits of more rational, healthy and higher-quality lifestyles have led to a more diversified identification of "beauty."
Three major trends are rising, namely the focus on health and environmental healing, personalized beauty and experience, and convenience enabled by smart technologies and intelligent devices.
Further integration of technology and beauty will broaden the development space of the beauty industry.
Fengxian's idea is to attract research facilities of different sizes and functions that connect with one another.
For industry-leading players, setting up a presence in Fengxian enables easier access to local resources, talent, research capabilities and inter-connectivity with upstream and downstream service providers.
The local government strives to connect beauty companies and relevant players to highlight the district's economic development.
In May, L'Oréal China launched the 2021 "Big Bang Beauty Tech Startup Challenge" in collaboration with the district.
"Consumer's demand for "Beauty Tech" is constantly on the rise, therefore, it is truly important to prompt more beauty and tech companies to invest in product innovation and market exploration in order to create a thriving beauty tech ecosystem that better serves consumers," said Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oréal North Asia Zone and chief executive officer of L'Oréal China.
As Chinese consumers pursue more personalized, intelligent and convenient products and services, L'Oréal China seeks to empower consumer experiences, supply chain operations and product development with technology to comprehensively promote beauty technology and create a better life for every consumer.
"L'Oréal is very honored to partner with Oriental Beauty Valley, one of China's largest cosmetics and health industrial hubs, to further expand the scope and scale of Big Bang by creating synergy with L'Oréal's beauty expertise and Oriental Beauty Valley's various resources," Megarbane said.
"We are particularly delighted to leverage our Big Bang to further contribute to the globalization of China's flourishing beauty tech sector through our collaboration with Business France," he added.
Last year, Japan-based Shiseido set up a research facility in Fengxian to drive technology innovation. The new site complements the company's two existing research and development facilities in China.
It cites various potential collaborators, such as authorized original equipment manufacturers, raw material providers and package makers, where technologies and ideas can combine to deliver business synergies.
The local government's dedication to developing biopharmaceuticals, health and nutritional food also allows it to expand beyond the beauty and cosmetics segment.