SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – China was the biggest buyer of South Korean beauty products, taking up almost half of the country’s cosmetics sold overseas last year, data showed Thursday.
According to the data submitted by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute to the National Assembly, China accounted for 41.1 percent of South Korea’s cosmetics exports in 2015, a sharp jump from the 22.1 percent portion in 2013.
Outbound shipments of makeup products also skyrocketed from US$274.34 million in 2013 to $1.04 billion in 2015, the data showed.
The institute said local cosmetics appeal to Chinese consumers on the back of the Korean Wave, or “hallyu.”
Such heavy export dependence on China, however, would undermine the overall industry if Beijing imposes certain economic sanctions in opposition to South Korea’s push to place an advanced U.S. missile defense system on its soil.
In July, South Korea announced it would place the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by end-2017 in the country to counter growing threats from North Korea.
China has voiced strong concerns about the move, saying that it could hurt the country’s strategic interests.
“There is concern over the Chinese government enacting indirect or direct economic sanctions and possible anti-South Korea sentiment in China due to South Korea’s decision to deploy the THAAD,” the institute said.