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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pingdu’s False Eyelash Industry: A Craftsmanship Business Thriving in the Digital Age

BusinessPingdu's False Eyelash Industry: A Craftsmanship Business Thriving in the Digital Age

70% of the world’s false eyelashes are actually produced in Pingdu, a county-level city of over 1.3 million residents in Shandong province? That’s right! Pingdu is home to more than 2,000 enterprises involved in the production of false eyelashes, and they produce a staggering 120 million pairs of eyelashes each year, worth over 7 billion yuan ($1.01 billion), according to local officials.

The township of Dazeshan is one of the major manufacturers in the area, with over 1,000 households involved in the business. Mao Pixia runs a workshop for the production of false eyelashes in the village of Dongxinwang, employing around 30 women. She says the work requires a sense of craftsmanship and is divided into several steps, including shaping, cutting, rolling, installing, and packaging.

Despite the challenges, more than 50,000 residents work in the industry – that’s one out of every 27 people – each earning an approximate average income of 150,000 yuan a year, officials said. The false eyelash industry in Pingdu can be traced back to the 1970s, and since then, it has grown significantly. In the 1990s, a complete supply chain was formed, including raw materials, production, packaging, and logistics.

Today, Pingdu’s false eyelash industry has seen rapid development, attributed to advanced technology and machinery that enable the efficient production of a wide variety of false eyelashes. For instance, Zhang Ruijie’s company, which produces the raw materials, worked with Zhejiang University Robotics Institute to develop a machine to produce eyelash filament. The company started using it in February 2022, and Zhang said it saved him half the cost of an imported model and yields higher-quality products.

With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the global cosmetics market, false eyelash sales have been boosted with people spending more time at home and ordering online. The industry’s online sales have grown at an average annual rate of 70 percent recently, while internet searches have grown by 120 percent, according to market surveys.

Despite the thriving false eyelash industry in Pingdu, local government officials say they think it has reached a bottleneck. To address this, the government announced new policies and measures through December 2025 to provide new impetus to help industry players grow. These measures range from taxation to e-commerce, delivery, talent, brand, research and development, and exhibition financing.

One of the most significant policies is the construction of a large-scale industrial park dedicated to false eyelashes. The park will cover around 20 hectares, and the first phase of construction is set to be completed in March 2024. Once operational, the industrial park will be the largest sales and exhibition center for the false eyelash industry worldwide. Yang Yanyong, manager in charge of the park’s operation, said it is expected to attract around 200 manufacturing enterprises and 200 e-commerce enterprises and incubate another 300 enterprises.

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