China’s hairpieces make global splash with one wig sold on retail platform every 2 seconds in 2018

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/13 22:03:40

One wig sold on global retail platform every 2 seconds in 2018

Flags and wigs are are on display in the Yiwu International Trade Center. Photo: Xie Jun/GT

China's wigs are selling like hot cakes around the world as baldness has become a global problem, reports said. 

Celebrities, including former US First Lady Michelle Obama, celebrities Beyonce and Rihanna have reportedly bought wigs made in Xuchang, Central China's Henan Province — the "city of wigs." 

"Being bald has become a problem for people around the world. Customers from the US and the UK are the top buyers of Chinese-made wigs," according to a report obtained by the Global Times on Wednesday from AliExpress, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's online global retail platform. 

A wig is bought every two seconds on the platform. Customers from the US, the UK, France, South Africa and the Netherlands top the list of countries contributing the most to wig sales in 2018, the report said. 

In 2018, the sales of wigs to European countries were more than 50 percent than in 2017, while in Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, sales climbed 300 percent, the report said. 

Most of the wigs sold on AliExpress were produced in Xuchang, with about 40,000 units from the city being sold every day on the platform. Revenue from Xuchang's wig sales reached 1.5 billion yuan ($223 million) in 2018, according to the report. 

Xu, a sales manager from a wig company based in Xuchang, told the Global Times on Wednesday that it seems like every household in the city is into the wigs business, with most mom-and-pop operations. 

Authentic human hair is among the favorite of customers from the US, who are more open to wigs compared with  Chinese people. And it's second nature for Africans to wear wigs, Xu said. 

There are more than 5,000 wig mills in Xuchang. The industry feeds 200,000 people in the city, news site reported.

Many wig producers in Xuchang collect hair from India, Pakistan and Vietnam as fewer Chinese sell their hair, which makes the hair collection business difficult in China, report said. 

Exports of Xuchang-made wigs were worth about $1 billion in 2016, accounting for more than half of national hair product exports that year, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

In China, wig making started more than  a century ago and has become an export-based industry. In 2017, China exported $3.2 billion worth of hair products, with Africa being its second largest market with a 34-percent share, Xinhua reported.

The sales of anti-hair loss products in 2018, including shampoos, essential oils and laser hair growing combs, on AliExpress was 150 percent higher than in 2017, according to the AliExpress report. 

The report also pointed out that more men are purchasing wigs online, with an 11-percent increase in 2018 from previous year.
Newspaper headline: China’s hairpieces make global splash

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