Skin care cream Pehchaolin is making a comeback in China after Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, presented an assortment of products from the previously out-of-fashion brand as State gifts during her foreign tour with President Xi Jinping

Speeches and cream on foreign tour

Updated: 2013-04-13 01:40

By XU JUNQIAN in Shanghai ( China Daily)

180373d28c1012d28bd407Skin care cream Pehchaolin is making a comeback in China after Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, presented an assortment of products from the previously out-of-fashion brand as State gifts during her foreign tour with President Xi Jinping last month. The cream, sold in little blue and yellow tins, is now riding a wave of popularity among young, trendy women who used to favor foreign brands.

Founded in Shanghai in 1931 and once considered a luxury among young women, Pehchaolin,sold for less than 5 yuan ($0.81) a tin, was the first homegrown skin care product in China.

For decades, the cream was a must-buy for many Chinese families and a favorite amongdomestic movie stars and celebrities before the influx of foreign beauty products in the late1990s.

“Spring is never a good season for selling creams, but this year, it’s all different,” said Zhang, 55, adding that he is now worried about “how to get his salespeople, mostly middle-agedwomen, out of the idleness they have been accustomed to for decades”.

Shop assistants inside the cramped store woke reluctantly from their afternoon naps to servecustomers, mostly girls, who came to snap up what they called “the first lady’s cream”.

Zhang said his store, which opened in 1977, is one of the few places — if not the only location— in Shanghai that sells the “rejuvenated cream”.

He said the store was on the brink of closing down before the frenzy, which he thinks will last along time.

Meanwhile, online stores that sell Pehchaolin cream are also enjoying an unprecedented boom.

Figures from the official Pehchaolin online store showed that more than 2,500 tins of the creamhave been sold in the past 30 days.

While the Shanghai-based company was unavailable for comment on Friday, the onlinecustomer service representative, who responded half an hour after the inquiry from China Dailybecause “there are too many customers waiting to be answered”, said nine out of 10 customersasked about the same gift package given by Peng.

The owner of a store that specializes in selling made-in-Shanghai skin-care products onTaobao, China’s largest online bazaar, who refused to be named, said she has enjoyed an “atleast a 10 percent increase” in the past month.

“I cannot prove the increase is related to the visit of the first lady, but I believe the attention haspushed many people to be at least willing to try domestic beauty products,” the store ownersaid.

Other made-in-Shanghai products are also benefiting from the interest, especially skin carebrands such as Gongdeng almond cream.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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