According to Deloitte’s ‘Aesthetic Medicine Market Outlook Report’, China’s aesthetic medicine market has risen from RMB 64.8 billion in 2015 to RMB 179.6 billion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 28.7%. So-Young, a medical aesthetic company launched by CKGSB alumnus, Jin Xing, is leading this emerging market with its online platform to facilitate bookings and other aesthetic medical services.
So-Young listed on the Nasdaq in 2019 after 7 rounds of financing. Founded in 2013, the app has over 400 million downloads and its revenue in 2021 was RMB1.69 billion, according to its 2021 annual report.
Jin Xing is a graduate of CKGSB’s Chuang Chuang Community Program, a start-up incubation program run jointly by CKGSB and Tencent.
From Manager to Entrepreneur
After graduating from Tianjin University in 2001 Jin Xing worked as an operations manager at several internet companies including Tom Online, Tencent, Mogujie and MOP.com. He has also set up three businesses in his career – two shopping discussion platforms, Beautiful Family and Zhimei, and his most successful project, So-Young.
Jin Xing sought to use his experience to create an online community platform that enables consumers to choose the best institutions for aesthetic treatment. According to Jin Xing, the sector lacked a discussion platform for customers to make these choices. He also believed that aesthetic services should be integrated with e-commerce.
Thus in 2013, Jin Xing established the online discussion platform, ‘Beauty Diaries’, to enable users to share their experiences at different aesthetic medical providers. The popularity of Beauty Diaries attracted aesthetic service providers to the platform. Jin Xing subsequently launched a separate platform that placed consumers in direct contact with various aesthetic medical providers enabling them to reserve appointments. This platform includes everything from information on different providers to appointment reservation and pricing to user reviews. Since its launch, Beauty Diaries has expanded enormously and today features over 6,000 medical providers across China. Jin Xing expanded it further during the pandemic, launching an online consultation service for consumers to communicate directly with doctors.
So-Young also distributes editorial content on China’s social media networks covering topics such as skin care, fitness, and beauty. The comprehensive services that the company offers makes it stand out from its competitors such as Gengmei and Yuemei. Deloitte echoed this noting in the report highlighted above that So-Young stands out for its most complete services.
Jin Xing has built a sustainable business model with the company’s main source of revenue coming from advertising fees charged to aesthetic medical service providers, followed by the 10% commissions it takes from providers for reservations.
How has Jin Xing Improved the Aesthetic Medicine Industry?
Traditionally, medical institutions have used advertisements, search engines and intermediaries to acquire customers. Jin Xin changed the way providers advertise themselves, removed the intermediary and saved costs for both customers and aesthetic healthcare providers.
Moreover, the medical aesthetics sector in the past has been plagued by illegal practitioners and false information. Jin Xing made the sector more transparent through reliable information and decreased the risk by requiring that doctors be licensed. He has pushed the industry towards greater standardization and efficiency and reduced costs for medical providers and consumers.