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Tmall Broadens Beauty Product Development Reach

Alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform has partnered with Beiersdorf to co-incubate Chinese beauty start-ups.

PARIS — Alibaba’s business-to-consumer platform Tmall keeps broadening its scope as a beauty product developer in China.

On Thursday, Beiersdorf AG revealed that its NX Nivea accelerator is expanding into the country through a partnership with Tmall to co-incubate Chinese beauty start-ups.

The news came two weeks after information was released that Tmall and Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier Givaudan were partnering to accelerate scent creation in China.

Today, China’s beauty market is worth $38.6 billion, ranking second behind the U.S., which rings up about $56 billion, according Launchmetrics. The data research and insights company for fashion, luxury and beauty estimates that China will become the largest beauty market by 2023, and so brands increasingly aim to capitalize on its growing industry.

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Beiersdorf’s NX Nivea accelerator has selected the first five start-ups for its program launched in Shanghai, which focuses on developing indie brands with technology, personalization or platform business models and a high digital quotient. Beiersdorf is also open to working with global indie skin care brands wanting to enter China and grow their own local teams in Shanghai.

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More than 100 candidates vied to enter the accelerator program in that city, and of those the following five were selected:

• Lake Lab, a beauty brand created on the You Look Good Today skin care platform that utilizes data and artificial intelligence technology for product development based on consumer skin data and reviews.

• Basic Lab, a skin care brand with products containing no more than 12 clean ingredients.

• 2XY, a genderless skin care brand with ingredients from nature.

• Turflan, scientific skin care with “high-potency” products developed alongside international research institutes.

• Moja, a brand with “pure high efficiency” formulas created to heal skin.

For six months the five beauty brands can tap into Beiersdorf’s global network of more than 160 affiliates and 20,000 employees, and almost 140 years of know-how in skin care.

The company’s new innovation center in Shanghai, which is its second largest after Hamburg, Germany, is to back the start-ups in research and development, marketing and office space. The startups can access Beiersdorf’s labs, support and training, too.

“Our goal is to become the leading beauty accelerator in Asia by 2022,” said Zhengrong Liu, member of the executive board of Beiersdorf for greater China and Northeast Asia. “By teaming up with local innovators, we accelerate the process to identify and develop visionary beauty concepts, unlock growth potentials and win with skin care, in line with Beiersdorf’s business strategy C.A.R.E+.”

C.A.R.E.+ is Beiersdorf’s plan to win in skin care and drive consumer-centricity through digitalization.

The company said it signed the partnership agreement with Tmall to establish brands on the market quickly and efficiently. Skin care labels from Beiersdorf, including Nivea, Eucerin, La Prairie and Hansplast, are already being sold on the platform.

NX Nivea was launched in June 2019 in Seoul.

Meanwhile, Beiersdorf has been making other inroads in Asia. Also in 2019, it invested in Korean beauty start-up LYCL Inc. Last year, Beiersdorf introduced Chaul, a premium face care brand developed in Asia as a freestanding startup through the NX Nivea accelerator.

Tmall has been striking deals with other beauty-related companies. In early June, Givaudan said it had partnered with Tmall to create the T-Lab Source Innovation Laboratory for accelerated fragrance creation in China. The T-Lab will be able to shorten a perfume product’s development time to four weeks, compared with the traditional 40 weeks, which is more in keeping with fast-paced digital opportunities of today.

For more, see:

Tmall, Givaudan Partner for Accelerated Scent Creation in China

Beiersdorf Launches Personalized Face Care

Beiersdorf Tests Face Care Created Specifically for Asia