What Happened: ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is exploring fields beyond tech with the launch of a perfume subsidiary entitled EMOTIF. The new brand, which will be sold via third-party e-commerce platforms, will serve a contemporary clientele interested in expressing their individual personalities through aroma and fragrance. So far, EMOTIF has three products: Electronic Lover, Deep Sea Flight, and Pompidou Only Drinks Champagne, which are offered in 2 ml and 9 ml bottles, costing RMB 19.9 ($3.94) and 198 ($31.2), respectively.
This isn’t, however, the first time Bytedance has invested in a consumer brand. In 2021, the tech company invested in the low-calorie sparkling wine brand Kongka, which was followed by investments in Sharkfit, the ready-to-eat healthy food label, and the oral care brand Kanban.
The Jing Take: TikTok, with its 1 billion global MAU (monthly active users), has the enormous advantage of stocking one of the world’s largest consumer databases, which, needless to say, gives it the ability to spot rising trends. Given this, its entrance into the fragrance race clearly signals that China’s perfume market is booming. The intelligence platform Mintel predicts that by 2025 China’s fragrance industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17 percent, with market sales reaching $2.39 billion (15.44 billion RMB). Moreover, local consumers’ acceptance of niche perfumes is also very high, allowing new players to enter the market like domestic fragrance brands: To Summer, Scent Library, and now EMOTIF.
Givaudan, the Swiss manufacturer of flavors, fragrances, and active cosmetic ingredients, estimates that no more than five-to-seven percent of people in China wear fragrances, say, compared to 42 percent of France’s population that sports a scent daily. Hence, potentiality is huge. And Bytedance, which has the means to push this trend forward, hopes to capitalize on just that — making EMOTIF a category leader in a space that is still trying to define itself.
The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.