A new breed of young, Chinese, digital direct-to-customer brands are scaling at amazing speed by leveraging China's thriving e-commerce and social sectors. It normally takes decades to build brand awareness, but these companies are leveraging social media to get to scale at tech-like speeds. 

Budget Chinese direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand Perfect Diary took just five years to get from start to an IPO that raised $617 million in New York debut in November. It leveraged a dedicated KOL strategy laser focused on China's social media-savvy consumer generations. The five-year-old brand quickly became a household name and a top seller in the color cosmetics category. It came to account for 4% of China's color cosmetics market, trailing only L'Oreal and LVMH's combined 20% market share in 2019, according to a Euromonitor report from June.

The rise of Perfect Diary is an example of the growth potential of young Chinese online brands. Others include fashion brand Shein, cosmetics rival Florasis, and ice cream brand Zhongxuegao.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.