Booming Plastic Surgery Market in China

The Chinese plastic surgery market is growing rapidly, according to HSBC recent studies, it was predicted that by 2019 this market will double in size and even more it will be the third-largest market in the world following the United States and Brazil, apparently, it is also expected that the total amount of spending can increase up to 800 million RMB (approximately $122 billion US). The Chinese Healthcare market lacking infrastructure for this segment combined with shady practices by illegal clinics is offering juicy opportunities to foreign plastics surgery providers. Let’s find out, how you can reach out to this target audience!

Overview of the Chinese plastic surgery market

The most interesting point is that there is a lack of trust in Chinese hospitals, this makes Chinese consumers travel to other countries for the purpose of undergoing these plastic surgery procedures.

Although it is hard to predict and explain why plastic surgery became so popular among Chinese consumers, it is usually said that social media influence is the reason for such high demand among Chinese millennials. One of the most popular cosmetic procedures is face slimming and calf slimming.

Zhijie Zhao, the HSBC analyst, noted that “The pursuit of physical beauty had become big business in China”. It is also expected that in the nearest future, the Chinese plastic surgery market boom in size even more which therefore may lead to the sequent growth of competition between international and domestic hospitals.

You may ask, what are exactly influences Chinese consumers to undergo plastic surgeries?

Here we go.

Influence of South Korean culture 

In South Korea, plastic surgeries became a part of everyday life, where the most popular surgeries are nose jobs and double eyelid surgeries, which most commonly are given as high-school graduation presents. The increased influence of South Korea led to the extreme growth of plastic surgeries in China.

Reasonable that Chinese youths are pursuing plastic surgeries because they are more and more are willing to look like their South Korean idols, and this makes Chinese consumers be more into those cosmetic surgeries.

According to the latest data, it was shown that in South Korea per 1,000 people the procedures per capita are at 13.2. In terms of Chinese consumers and their obsessions with K-pop and South Korean culture reflects that 60000 Chinese mainlanders each year are

The fact that k-pop culture is becoming more and more popular among Chinese millennials, it is showing that the Chinese plastic surgery market will also grow rapidly in a few years.


‘Selfie culture is becoming one of the main influencing factors. Chinese selfie culture became well known all around the world since nowadays social media has become a part of the life of many Chinese consumers. In addition, live streaming apps is reflecting how people there can pass judgment quickly and those who are willing to be Chinese opinion leaders, need to look outstanding. Also, it is not a secret that a great increase in Chinese plastic surgery is highly influenced by the personal vanity of consumers.

Types of cosmetic plastic surgeries

Chinese consumers nowadays are highly impacted by different types of beauty that are introduced by social media. These types depend on what Chinese consumers assume as ‘beauty’ and what exactly they value.  Western influence lead Chinese consumers to undergo another type of plastic surgery which is reflected by face slimming.

As it was mentioned before double eyelid surgeries remain the most popular and highly demanded surgeries in China. The surgery is made up to create the appearance of western eyelids by lifting up the eyelid.

The second place among popular plastic surgeries is calf slimming which is in demand, especially among young men. This can be explained by the only reason that the long leg look is highly popular in Asia.

Lunch-break cosmetics

One of the latest Chinese plastic surgery trends is ‘lunch-break cosmetics’, which is actually Aesthetic medicine. It is involving non-invasive surgeries such as Botox and hyaluronic acid injections. This type of cosmetic surgery is perceived to have less harm and more instant effect.

In terms of Aesthetic medicine, one of the most popular injection surgeries among Chinese consumers is Hyaluronic acid (HA) treatment. In addition, it has a low entry barrier and also low-profit margins. The main reason why these injections are extremely popular is that the whole HA injection procedure has no wounds or cuts and it takes only a couple of hours, which consequently leads to the patient’s fast recovery with fewer risks of side effects. In this sense, many hospitals and HA fillings manufacturers are involved in the price war. 

According to the report of China Merchants Securities, plastic surgery hospitals experience an average net profit of approximately 10 percent. In this time of high competition among hospitals, the HSBC survey reported that in order to ‘share the pain’ with hospitals, suppliers have cut their prices aggressively, which were reflected in discounts from 20-60%.

There are five leading brands in terms of aesthetic dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Yvonne, BioHyalux, and Matrifiull, all of these companies have increased and settled their market shares. Moreover, Juvederm, Restylane, and Yvonne are international brands, while BioHyalux and Matrifiull are local firms. It is clear these companies by dominating the HA dermal fillers market, show that branding power and loyalty of customers are the main entry barriers.

Age demographics

When it comes to age, compared to other countries in China plastic surgeries are highly demanded and popular, especially among the younger population. For example, according to HSBC research, it was shown that 80% of non-surgical procedures are done by people over the age of 35 in the United States. In contrast, in China, the biggest percentage of those surgeries are done by those younger than 35. In addition, the whole population customer share that is aged under 25 and over 35 experienced a growth which is 31% and 39% respectively.

Moreover, Chinese consumers who can afford themselves those plastic surgeries, give these cosmetic surgeries to their friends and family members as presents or even graduation gifts which is similar to South Korea.

China Digital Ecosystem

Surgery Apps in China

In China, plastic surgery apps are very popular in terms of finding all sorts of plastic surgeries, which is completely different compared to other countries. That made many plastic surgery companies turn to social media in order to be more competitive and differentiated.

For instance, recently Tencent, one of the biggest Chinese platforms, has invested in Chinese surgery apps for $50 million. Currently, the company is valued at $462 million(approx. 3 billion yuan). In comparison with other medical markets, the plastic surgery market is one of the easiest in terms of online marketing. This can be reflected in visible results on photos, which include “before and ‘after’.  All of these show that plastic surgery apps are doing very well in China.

Due to the high demand for plastic surgery among Chinese consumers, these theme-related apps became highly popular, since most consumers are looking for ease and convenience.

Moreover, e-commerce nowadays enables Chinese consumers to compare and view various companies in this market, and their price lists on different possible cosmetic procedures. It shows that competition and pricing among those companies are becoming more transparent due to e-commerce.

How to Market a Plastic Surgery Clinic in China?

For all plastic Surgery Professionals, China is the future Market. Chinese Clinics have an obvious problem of trust, and it is an opportunity for International Clinics and all Medical institutes.


You need to engage in establishing a positive reputation as well as increasing the visibility of your brand, business, or product/service. This needs to be in front of the most applicable, target demographic for your business proposition. The key is to be focused and develop your status on the platforms & sources where your target is most active.



The base of every Marketing strategy for a Surgery Clinic is a quality website with good design and useful information.

Example this Famous Korea Surgery Clinic.


Like Google, Baidu has a huge reach in China with 75% of all online research carried out here. It really is a portal to China. Businesses need to be visible with a quality site, landing page, content & third-party references appearing on the search based on Mandarin Character Keywords. A combination of Pay Per Click Ads & SEO to rank in the search engine results can deliver a lot of quality traffic.

Websites need to be built as ‘vehicles for visibility on Baidu (bank-end optimization) with the right keywords optimized in your content as well as titles & descriptions. Selecting the best keywords is about analyzing search data to ascertain the highest traffic for the best keyword price, a must when it comes to competitive keywords.


It’s worth mentioning early the importance of Forums, whilst outdated in many parts of the world the Chinese are still highly active & engaged in community threads about many topics. They discuss, share information, leave reviews, and offer recommendations. Especially when it comes to Plastic Surgeries, the SoYoung app is one of the Top forums in China where Chinese girls search for plastic surgery clinics and also review and recommendations of other girls that have already had any experience with those hospitals.

It is clear that the plastic surgery market is growing quickly in China. However, due to the high demand for plastic surgeries in China, it might seem that entering this market is easy. However, there are still some existing barriers to entry, which can seem like an obstacle in case if your company is small and willing to enter this type of market in China. In addition, the market is full of non-registered and fake medicines which obviously can be sold at a lower price in comparison with registered ones. Therefore, these issues are highly risky for both sides of companies that are providing plastic surgeries and for their clients.


Do you hear about WeChat I suppose? It is a powerful tool to discuss with Chinese potential Patients.

You can send push (kind of Newsletters) and chat with potential clients.

You can get our Report about Social Media Marketing in China (email


You might need to get a quality guide, which is vital in order to be able to navigate the Chinese market. We at GMA are an international team of 60 marketers, copywriters, publishers, and ad experts. We work in plenty of fields beginning from branding, and ad strategy to lead generation. We are willing to be our clients’ team in China and build strong and long-term, serious relationships based on results and the achievement of clear KPIs.


You do not need a Local Presence, but you need local online Visibility.

Please contact our expert team at GMA for more information on Chinese marketing strategy and how it can help your business.

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