Taking self-portraits from time to time and retouching them, in my opinion, is really silly. A lot of my rational friends think so too. But it’s enormous in China, especially among girls.

Meitu, starting out as a photo editing software developer, now has over 100 million Chinese users have installed its portrait editing app Meitu Xiuxiu in their smartphones. It is found that over 70% of users on Meitu Xiuxiu are female. The company rolled out a self-portrait smartphone with built-in self-portrait software two month ago to better serve the 70 million strong Chinese women.

To avoid competition in domestic market, some Chinese developers want to serve women in other Asian countries, thinking they look similar to Chinese.

CommSource, a Xiamen-based app developer, launched BeautyPlus for iOS in the past April, and has gained traction in Japan. Out of its over one million installs, 60% are from Japan. The rest are from in Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, Taiwan, Cambodia, etc.

BeautyPlus finds more than 90% of its users are female, with 50% strong aged 18 to 24 and 30% aged 25 to 34.

Unlike its Chinese peers who, to some extent have to, offer this kind of apps for free, BeautyPlus is priced at $1.99.


In addition to its “Auto beauty enhancement” feature, the app provides a variety of editing options for users to enhance their portrait photos, including skin retouch, eyes enlarger, slimming, beauty filters, etc. It also offers a Night Mode for self-snapshot in low light conditions. After editing, users can easily share their pretty photo on various social networks.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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