I Grew Up Around Korean Beauty Products. Americans, You’ve Been Had.

  • 7 years ago
I Grew Up Around Korean Beauty Products. Americans, You’ve Been Had.
South Korea has been rethinking the precariousness of an export strategy
that is too dependent on China, a country that is not only allied with North Korea, but is also becoming a direct competitor in manufacturing and of late, pop culture and television dramas.
China perceived the move as hostile and threatened sanctions; in March, Chinese tourism in South Korea was
down 40 percent from the same month in 2016, resulting in an estimated loss of $6.5 billion in revenue.
It still does: In 2016, China bought about 38 percent of K-beauty exports and Hong Kong 30 percent, according to Kotra.
It’s no coincidence that South Korea’s top boy band, BTS, chose this year to make a splashy American debut, while the Korean bakery chain Paris Baguette announced recently
that it was planning to open at least 300 more stores in the United States by 2020.
AmorePacific, one of South Korea’s oldest beauty companies, plans to open 100 American branches
of its retail chain Aritaum, a sort of Korean Sephora, within the next three years.
According to at least three English-language beauty websites, Korean skin care rituals date back to some purported document from 700 B. C.
If Koreans have had a 12-step skin care program for 2,700 years, I’m not sure why they decided to sit on it until the 1990s.
So … in beauty terms, South Korea is in the year 2027?
Korean industry got a glimpse of the perils of mixing politics and trade in July 2016, when South Korea announced
that it would deploy the American-made Thaad missile defense system.

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