Are China's virtual beauty influencers really pixel perfect?

2-Feb-2022

China's biggest names in beauty are not real, but these fictitious characters on social media have a real-world impact, writes Babette Radclyffe-Thomas

Prada's new Candy influencer (left) and Luo Tianyi, one of China's most demanded influencers for L'Occitane

China’s cosmetics market is set to bounce back post-pandemic with predicted growth to US$75bn (478.1bn RMB) by the end of 2021, reported data from iiMedia Research. But forget celebrity endorsements, the faces of China’s beauty industry are virtual idols and it looks like these digital influencers are here to stay.

Although not an entirely new phenomenon – virtual idols have been around for about a decade – they are now more popular than ever, especially with the digitally-savvy Gen Z consumer who enjoys ACG (anime, comics and games) content.

So as well as introducing new products or the latest beauty trends, these digitally-created key opinion leaders (KOLs) can entertain and help build communities.

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But they also range in style depending on the needs of the brand and community, from ...

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