Aesthetic medicine in China is growing

The aesthetic medicine market in China is expected to exceed 200 billion RMB in 2020, definitely a segment of the China Healthcare market, foreign health providers do not want to overlook!. Due to the development of the economy, the increase of Chinese people’s disposable income, and the innate desire for beauty, the Chinese aesthetic medicine industry is growing rapidly, especially with the younger generations. The segment is expected to reach RMB 360 billion by 2023.

Hair transplantation (laser hair removal), skin beauty (hyaluronic acid injections, botox, double-edged eyelid surgery, nose-related surgery), and collagen services have the largest increase in consumption.

The market size of the aesthetic medical industry in China from 2013 to 2019, with a forecast until 2022

Young people are driving the aesthetic medicine market in China

Millennials lead the aesthetics medicine market

The proportion of post-90s consumers has reached 50%, which is the main force driving the development of this market. According to research in medical aesthetics, consumers under the age of 28 have shown the highest level of consumption in comparison to other age groups

With the increase in spending power, and with the willingness to emulate the Western fashion, Chinese young people are nurturing a sector that is going to be one of the most important, by the growth rate, of the entire economy of China: that of cosmetic surgery.

A sector that until recently, in the country, was limited to substantially functional needs (the correction of physical defects, for reasons related to health) and which is now rapidly migrating towards a more dynamic mix of functional needs and purely aesthetic necessities.

New audience growing: Underage and Men

As a demonstration of this, let’s recall the data of a very recent survey conducted by the Shanghai Daily, one of the most popular Chinese newspapers, according to which the percentage of minors who, out of the total number of patients, decide to undergo surgery, oscillates between 10% and 20%.

More and more men recur to the aesthetic medicine in China
According to a report published by Gengmei, a social networking app that connects people with an interest in plastic surgery, male clients represent 15% of the total of those who resort to cosmetic surgery.

In China, the number of men who turn to aesthetic medicine is growing, also resorting to plastic surgery with the hope of increasing self-confidence or gaining advantages in today’s society, which has become hyper-competitive.

A big opportunity for foreign aesthetic clinics

As the market brutally expands, counterfeits and fakes proliferate.

The China Association of Plastics and Aesthetics has revealed that it believes 70% of the country’s Botox and hyaluronic acid, a type of dermal filler, to be either counterfeit or smuggled into China illegally.

That’s why there is space for foreign aesthetic medicine companies to enter the Chinese market.

Chinese Plastic Surgery Apps

So-Young and Gengmei: two Chinese apps for aesthetic medicine

Gengmei app

Gengmei plastic surgery app

So-Young, a Chinese plastic surgery app, announced total revenue in the first quarter of 2019 of approximately $ 30.7 million, an increase of 81% over the same period.

Gengmei is a similar app to So-young. It has almost 36 million users and lists nearly 20.000 surgeons on its platform.

From your phone, the apps will scan your face, tell you what work you must have done to improve your face, recommend surgeons, and even schedule and pay for appointments and surgeries.

These two social networking sites allow users to share anything about plastic surgery.

On Gengmei users can:

  • write reviews, comments, and journals about their treatments,
  • post-before-and-after selfies.

The app includes:

  • location-based search function for clinics,
  • link for users to connect with doctors for live-video consultations
  • payment services.

Foreign aesthetic medicine clinics should consider being present in one of these two applications.

To enter the Chinese market foreign aesthetic medicine clinics must be visible on the Chinese internet and build an e-reputation.

Online reputation is key to success in the aesthetic medicine segment in China

Step 1: Create your Chinese website optimized for Baidu

In China Google doesn’t work, in its place there’s Baidu.

Baidu is the biggest Chinese search engine. 70% of the research made on the Chinese internet is made on Baidu. People are looking for information about brands, products, etc.

Chinese consumers want to know if a company is credible, especially when we speak about medicine, and it works for both B2B and B2C.

To rank on Baidu:

  • your website must be hosted in China, or near China,
  • your website must be translated into Chinese,
  • you need to have an ICP license,
  • content must be localized,
  • content must be adapted to mobile phones because Chinese netizens mainly surf the Net with phones.

Step 2: Invest in Baidu SEO & Lead Generation

Chinese people don’t easily rely on new companies, especially when health is involved. To understand if a brand, or a clinic, in this case, is legitimate and can be trusted they insert keywords related to aesthetic medicine in Baidu and if they find your company between the first results they will start to check your website and to look for information about you.

That is why it is essential to invest in Baidu Seo in China

Lead generation marketing is a strategy to get potential customers to come to you. With the internet, and businesses looking for information directly online, lead generation has become a powerful tool.

With a lead generation strategy, you can build your reputation online, let the customers come to you, and do their research before they talk with you.

Backlinks & PR are still some of the most cost-efficient solutions when it comes to building your e-reputation in China and at the same time boosting your website ranking on Baidu.

Build Credibility and get more visibility.

Step 3: Aesthetic medicine clinics don’t have to neglect the power of Zhihu

Since counterfeit is popular in China, especially in the aesthetic medicine market, it is really important to build an e-reputation on the Chinese market.

Zhihu is the biggest Chinese platform for questions and answers. It boasts more than 100 million answers. Zhihu has become China’s biggest knowledge-sharing platform. They claim to have 160 million registered users and more than 26 million daily users spending an hour on average on the site.

Zhihu will allow you to answer questions about your field but also to educate your target audience about your brands/products.

It is an excellent tool to generate awareness about your brand/services.


Baidu Zhidao is a service of questions and answers supplied by the Baidu platform, where only registered users can interact with questions and provide answers. It is very influential in terms of positioning.

Baidu Tieba is the Baidu “Social Network” that allows you to have a diary or company social page, where you can go to share status, photos, and videos. It is possible to comment and follow public profiles.

Contact Gma to enter the Chinese aesthetic medicine market.

gma agency

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency that is an expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China. We can help your brand increase sales in China, thanks to our services like:

  • Advertising
  • Baidu SEO&SEM
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • KOL & Influencers
  • E-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
  • Distribution

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