US cosmetics group Estée Lauder is making strides in the Chinese beauty market by investing in local skincare and make-up brand Code Mint. The investment was made through Estée Lauder’s investment vehicle, New Incubation Ventures, marking its first venture into the Chinese market. Code Mint, owned by Hangzhou Jianfa Meixue Technology and founded by influential Chinese figure Grace Chow, has rapidly gained popularity on social media platforms since its launch earlier this year. Although Estée Lauder’s investment in Code Mint was made several months ago, it was recently formalized.

The Chinese beauty market is flourishing, with a projected value of €49 billion by 2024, and an annual growth rate of 12.3%. This lucrative market has attracted the interest of major global players, as evidenced by L’Oréal’s investment in a Chinese fragrance brand last year. Estée Lauder is also exploring opportunities in the Indian beauty market and has teamed up with Indian company Nykaa to launch Beauty & You India, a program aimed at supporting emerging Indian beauty brands and entrepreneurs. Shiseido, a leading Japanese cosmetics company, has similarly entered the Indian market with its Nars brand.

Estée Lauder faced a decline in revenue for the 2022-23 financial year, with a 10% decrease to $15.91 billion, largely due to the slow recovery of the Chinese market. However, the company’s investment in Code Mint demonstrates its dedication to expanding its presence in significant beauty markets, both in China and India. reached out to the Estée Lauder group for comment, but as of the time of writing, no response has been received.

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2. Estée Lauder Companies