Market overview

China’s contraceptives market was valued at around USD 3,175.9 million in the year 2018. Condom sales in China will increase from US$ 1.9 billion in 2015 to 5.2 billion US dollars in 2024.

According to a survey on sex life in China released in 2019, a majority of the young Chinese adults take different types of contraception when having sex.

The survey presents that around two-thirds of the respondents said they had used condoms as contraception. From the results, we can see condoms are dominating the market.

Share of young adult respondents taking contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy in China as of July 2019, by type — Data from Statista

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, as of 2019, there were 680 million females in China, of which women aged 20-49 accounted for approximately 49%. The large population of females of the right age gave birth to a huge market capacity for contraceptives.

The market has seen an important increase during the COVID-19

At the beginning of 2020, the sudden epidemic has ravaged the entire planet crazily. While changing people’s travel methods and consumption habits, it also changed the market structure of various industries, causing many industries to face a new round of reshuffle.

It is especially true for the adult products and condom industries. Unlike the “Great Depression” in some industries, the demand for condoms has skyrocketed during the epidemic. Condoms in many supermarkets and convenience stores were all sold-out, and shelves were empty.

Foreign condom brands dominate the Chinese market

According to statistics in 2018, the domestic condom market is still monopolized by foreign brands. Durex in the UK and Okamoto in Japan have a combined market share of more than 60%.

However, domestic condom brands lag far behind these foreign brands in market share.

How to sell condoms in China?

Do you want to sell contraceptives such as condoms in China? But it is not that easy. The example of Durex the famous brand of condoms will show you that …

The brand had the ambition to expand its sales nationwide but realized that the strategy that works in Western countries does not work in China.

Counterfeit: one of the obstacles of Durex’s China dream

Counterfeiting, by the way, is one of the reasons society could not get good value for its condoms, as imitations flood the Chinese market.

Durex, as the first brand of condoms, has been popular among Chinese consumers due to its high quality and reasonable price. Such a big cake has attracted many lawbreakers, which has led to the appearance of many counterfeits on the market.

Real Durex condom (left) & counterfeit (right)

Those Durex counterfeits are sold at a very low price,  they become a bestseller because of its low price.

Ambition, patience and Strategy to enter the market

To succeed in a market such as China you need two things: ambitious but also patience! We have seen through Durex’s example how difficult it could be to win the market, even for big brands.

The Chinese environment is competitive and complicated. You need good strategies and partnerships with professional Chinese marketing specialists. Think of new strategies that will make you a leader in the market:

I’ve put together strategies that will help you enter a market as fertile as the Chinese market. Rather than adjusting your strategy little by little, choose a strategy based on five pillars:

1. Social Networks

Knowing that a 30-second advertising slot in Beijing is four times more expensive than the same niche in California. In fact, an advertising campaign that sends a message to the people of Shanghai costs four times more than if you would like to spread the same message to the total population of a country such as India!

Marketing campaign on Wechat — China’s leading social media

The solution is obvious: about 90% of the Chinese population uses social networks including WeChat.  It plays an important role on Chinese social lives, so take advantage of this tool to promote your brand, your name will appear on the news feed for male and female consumers, as long as everyone is concerned about the sexual act!

Or on Weibo which is the equivalent of Twitter in China, knowing that the country has more than 750 million Internet users, three times more users than the US, who do not leave the web all day long. A tool where Chinese publish videos and links, collect news and buy products online.

2. Story Telling 

A condom is a rather special product, I would say that it is intimate and personal, and therefore the sale is quite delicate or difficult, even if you target young people, so you have to opt for a softer approach.

Very simple: tell them exciting stories, stories that convey your message without being direct, they like to discover a product through an adventure an anecdote or a joke, all this by creating a main character in your story; you can publish videos or images about the importance of sexual health and subtle messages about love and emotions.

3. KOL’s Campaign

Backlink in an article of a Chinese KOL

Key Opinion Leader,  are known influencers who have an audience of their own, who follow them constantly and who generate views and likes every day, choosing the right KOL is very important because there is no better influencer, it all depends on your target and the spirit of your business.

Do not make the mistake of choosing a KOL just based on the number of subscribers, if it does not have the same values as your business it will contribute to your failure. 

4. Viral marketing

Viral marketing is a marketing concept that consists of making a picture or a video Buzz,  through support and a second a third … until you reach thousands of views and likes and shares, and all that for free! 

The user promotes your brand by sharing your content! Nothing better to increase the number of leads and increase sales, and therefore achieve more profits.

5. Online sales: a weapon priceless! 


The distribution is very expensive in China because the trade is generally done on the family stores. Moreover, Chinese distributors prefer well-known brands to new brands.

It is, therefore, necessary to review your distribution strategy. The creation of an e-commerce site is the first step to achieve more sales: Alibaba Taobao, JD.com, My Little Red Book, or WeChat Store are all platforms that you can partner to keep pace with online sales, so you will allow Chinese consumers to buy condoms on the Net.

They will be able to shop condoms via WeChat and Weibo and have the product delivered to their home or office.

Marketing China is a digital marketing agency specializing in SEO on Chinese social networks. We advise foreign companies wishing to develop their communication in the Chinese market thanks to our expertise in each sector.

For more information visit our website

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