How Meitu is taking over the global selfie industry

Chinese firm Meitu has just launched its Counter service to compete with department stores virtually. Here Cosmetics Business speaks to the augmented reality giant to discover how it made its mark

Source: Twitter/@Sbstryker @MsEvilyne

If you’ve suddenly seen a plethora of highly animated selfies on your social media feed, it’s likely to be in part thanks to Meitu.

The augmented reality (AR) company has taken the beauty industry by storm inking partnerships with Benefit, Charlotte Tilbury, Lancôme and more. With 450 million active users worldwide, it is also a proven hit with consumers.

Despite the Chinese company being popular in Asia for some time, it seems to have become an overnight success in the West.

But companies like Meitu are rare; Chinese products can take decades to gain mass appeal outside of it domestic market, so what’s the secret to its global international success?

Here Frank Fu, Managing Director of Meitu's Global Operations, talks to Cosmetics Business about why Europeans are reluctant to embrace technology, Asia’s fascination with stickers and why he predicts AR will go beyond colour cosmetics.

Frank Fu

How do AR consumer needs vary per region?

Each market has their own unique preferences when it comes to how they want to express themselves through their photos, videos, personal style and their social media presence.

For example, a woman in Indonesia may have a very different definition of beauty and ultimately is being inspired by different beauty trends than a woman in the US.

This is why it’s so important to us to create a highly localised experience for our users by offering culturally relevant looks, styles and content in our apps, especially our virtual makeup try-on app, MakeupPlus.

How have you tailored Meitu’s portfolio of apps?

MakeupPlus and BeautyPlus offer unique looks, brands, and content specific to each region.

We also work with local influencers and make-up artists in each market to curate our unique make-up looks for each country.

For example, on MakeupPlus in the UK and US, we’ve partnered with celebrity and fashion make-up artist Lisa Eldridge and Ariana Grande’s make-up artist Daniel Chinchilla to create the looks.

In Korea, we’ve worked with K-pop star GDragon and K-pop make-up artist PONY. In Thailand it’s PearyPie, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in India – and the list goes on.

In our MakeupPlus Counter product try-on function, you’ll also find local brands alongside globally recognized brands – such as . . .

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