L'Oréal debuts investment company in China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, May 10, 2022
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On Sunday, L'Oréal founded its first investment company in China, Shanghai Meicifang Investment Co., Ltd., at Lingang Nanqiao Sci-Tech City in the Oriental Beauty Valley, Fengxian District, Shanghai. 

L'Oréal's executives and Shanghai's local officials and business partners held the online signing ceremony at the "2022 Fengxian District Shanghai Online Business Importing and Online Contract Signing Conference" on May 8, 2022. [Photo courtesy of L'Oréal] 

Fabrice Megarbane, president of L'Oréal North Asia Zone and CEO of L'Oréal China, told China.org.cn that at present, they do face some uncertainties but have seen steady growth and have solid and long-term confidence in the Chinese beauty market. He also noted that over the past 25 years, L'Oréal has witnessed the Chinese market becomes more stable, more transparent, and fairer, and it has contributed to the entire world's prosperity. 

"As the number one beauty group both in the world and in China, L'Oréal is committed to the co-evolution of the Chinese beauty ecosystem and the transformation of the global beauty industry," he said. 

He added, "Our investment also firmly proves L'Oréal's undoubted commitment to Shanghai and the Chinese market, L'Oréal's sincerity to co-create with industry partners the ecosystem, and L'Oréal's confidence in the Chinese market. We will leverage all resources to continuously empower technology, promote consumption upgrades in Shanghai and China, enhance economic development capability, deliver innovative momentum to the global market, and simultaneously contribute to pursuing a better life for all Chinese people. Co-Evolution answers to the future." 

L'Oréal, the world's largest beauty company, entered China in 1997. L'Oréal China is headquartered in Shanghai and currently has 31 brands and one R&I center in China, as well as two factories in Suzhou and Yichang, employing more than 14,000 people. Last year, the Shanghai-based China headquarters was promoted to North Asia's regional headquarters to oversee operations in China, Japan, and South Korea, which indicates China's vital strategic position for L'Oréal Group, Megarbane noted. 

The newly established investment company will be dedicated to promoting China's open innovation through investing in innovative beauty technology, with support from BOLD (Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development), L'Oréal Group's strategic innovation venture capital fund company, L'Oréal stated in its press release. 

The company's executives and Shanghai's local officials attended the online signing ceremony, held at the "2022 Fengxian District Shanghai Online Business Importing and Online Contract Signing Conference." With this project, L'Oréal Group proves its long-term commitment to investing in China by becoming the first Fortune 500 company to invest in the country since the recent progress in fighting Shanghai's epidemic. 

Christophe Babule, CFO of L'Oréal Group, said BOLD is "a key component" of L'Oréal Group's Beauty Tech Transformation and is committed to investing in high-growth potential innovative technology companies among marketing, digital, R&I, data, supply chain, packaging, and other areas. It aims to support the development of start-ups financially while providing access to L'Oréal's global ecosystem. 

"China possesses a strategically important position for the L'Oréal Group. Our development during the past 25 years has proven that due to China's unique digital and technology ecosystem, China is not only a key growth engine but also one of the inspiration cradles of future innovation for the group. For the 25th anniversary of L'Oréal China, we bring in our open innovation investment, demonstrating our commitment to the Chinese market and our determination to empower the Chinese innovation ecosystem and accelerate its business application," he said. 

"Fengxian is developing rapidly in southern Shanghai. Facing the upcoming new trends, we have been learning, planning, and winning in the new track as accelerating our evolution," said Zhuang Mudi, Party secretary of Shanghai's Fengxian district. "With a specific focus on the Oriental Beauty Valley together with L'Oréal's open innovation advantages as the industry leader, we will accelerate building the Oriental Beauty Valley Cosmetic City and making further contributions to establishing Shanghai as the International Consumption Center City as well as the Technology Innovation Center." 

The cooperation with the Oriental Beauty Valley is an example of how L'Oréal promotes open innovation cooperation with its partners. L'Oréal initiated the BIG BANG Beauty Tech Start-up Challenge three years ago in China and co-supported the second edition with the Oriental Beauty Valley. They also cooperated with China International Import Expo (CIIE)  and Business France to extend BIG BANG internationally. This program has already achieved results by attracting more than 1,000 domestic start-ups and more than 50 French start-ups to participate, together with more than 30 projects being accomplished. The program has become a benchmark for Sino-French cosmetic industry cooperation. The third edition was just officially launched in March. 

Furthermore, with the support of the new investment company, L'Oréal said it would cooperate with more partners and talents in China to explore more potential innovative companies, nurture forward-looking innovations and promote their commercialization.

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