|The Nu Skin lifestyle store in Beijing. Provided to China Daily|
Mary Kay, Nu Skin, Amway gained solid ground in China's marketplace
Rumors about direct selling have never disappeared since the marketing form sneaked into China 20 years ago. Meanwhile, industry has been struggling to jump on track. Right now, it is burgeoning in the laggard marketplace, led by foreign branded companies.
"The direct-selling industry in China is growing at more than 20 percent year-on-year. It is predicted to keep increasing to hit 1 trillion yuan ($163.4 trillion) in less than 10 years," said Hu Yuanjiang, secretary-general of the Direct Selling Expert Committee of the China Marketing Association.
The Chinese direct selling industry totaled 169.68 billion yuan in 2012, up from a breakthrough of 100 billion yuan in 2009, according to a report released during the Asia-Pacific Direct Selling Forum, which was held in June in Hainan province.
In order to provide an operational environment for industry players, as cheating and illegality were always connected with direct selling at the initial stage, the central government issued Regulations on Administration of Direct Sales in 2005. Right now, nearly 40 players have got an official license, and an increasing number of companies are waiting to be approved.
"Currently, foreign companies are sharing a big slice of the market because they have richer research and development capabilities, more cash flows, better management experience and have established recognizable brands in developed markets," said Hu.