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Market study: Adult products industry in China

Overview of Adult Product Industry in China

Traditionally, in the minds of most Chinese people, sex is a taboo topic that should be avoided to discuss about in public. However, the the sex industry’s rapid development in China contradicts this reserved attitude. Currently, you can easily find various brand of adult products in China. For example, Durex, Jissbon, and Okamoto are commonly found in the shelves of stores throughout the country.
Statistics on the sex industry in China have not officially been reported, but the state media reports that China has more than 200,000 sex shops competing for billions of dollars in revenue each year. Among those adult accessories in adult product shops, sexual arousal items, such as stimulus condoms, are reported to be the best seller by a market analysis in China, which constitutes 21.5% of the market. As for sex toys, China is the largest producer of sex toys in the entire world with about 70% of the world’s sex toys being manufactured in China.

Another market research study in China estimates the sex toy industry in the country to be worth  US$2 billion, with over 1,000 manufacturers nationwide. As a hub for the manufacturing industry, it is not surprising that China is that world’s largest manufacturer for sex toys. Moreover, most of the sex toys exported from China is manufactured in the factories in Guangdong, in southern China, and Zhejiang, in eastern China.

Landscape of Adult Product Shops in China

According to the introduction from deputy director of China Sexology Association, China has come a long way in terms of sexual culture since the opening of the first sex shop in Beijing, “Adam and Eva,” in 1993. As for now, adult product shops in China have been developing its sales channel in two ways – offline line stores and online shops. The result of a marketing interview towards 17,000 Chinese in China illustrates that about 48.1 percent of people choose buy adult products online. Chinese people are able to access to purchase sex-related products on regular online wesites, such as Taobao, 360buy, Amazon, and also some professional websites only specialize in sex product, for instance, Aizhigu, ikuaigan, taohv, yunzhiqing.

For those people who prefer to purchase at store, 26.6 percent of people choose to buy products at night. In recent years in China, it is more frequent to find adult product shop in the street. Meanwhile, those shops can be divided into three different formats. One kind of sex shop is comparatively small, shabby, and crowding with other small venders. The other one kind of is called franchises attached to a brand of store. Such as, XQ 365. Chinese consumers can also buy adult products, such as condoms, at health & beauty section, supermarket such as Carrefour and WalMart, or convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, Watsons, and Mannings.

Consumer Analysis Based on Marketing Research in China

After mystery shopping in China, it was discovered that the biggest consuming group of adult products is between the ages of 20 years old and 40 years old. At some traditional sex shops, the usual customers are mainly from 35 years old to 55 years old, a group of people who are more likely to have a great deal of career pressure and low level of sexual satisfaction. In addition, this group of people has purchasing power and mature attitude towards sex toys.


Daxue China Consultants


Picture source: Baidu Image