Tech Bytes from Retail & Tech No 23

The latest tech news to inform and inspire


  • Livestreaming limits. Livestreaming has become an important shopping driver in China and key to growth for companies such as Alibaba and However, this growth may be curtailed given the Chinese government’s announcement that it would impose limitations on the country’s popular livestreaming platforms. The move is seen as a bid to rein in companies in China’s tech sector. Livestreaming platforms will now have to enforce daily and monthly purchasing limits and once a user’s daily or monthly limit is almost reached, the livestreaming platform will have to send consumption reminders. Other regulations include content control, a classification system in which broadcasters must accurately label livestreams and limits on how much users can watch. Those using livestreaming will also have to pass a real-name verification test and underage users will be banned from making purchases. In addition, those organizing e-commerce festivals, e-commerce days and promotional days will have to report the event guests, anchors, content, settings and other information to radio and television authorities 14 days in advance.


  • Beauty Tech Live. BW Confidential is pleased to announce that Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer of A.S. Watson Group (ASW), and chief executive officer of A.S. Watson (Asia & Europe) is to be a speaker at the new Beauty Tech Live virtual event set to take place from April 12-16, 2021.

    Beauty Tech Live is the first B2B Virtual Expo & Conference that will bring together tech products, solutions and services for the beauty industry in one place. It will also be a forum for executives to share new ideas, inspiration and experience in the area of beauty tech. The event is organized by BW Confidential in partnership with the Moodie Davitt Virtual Expo Company.

    Ngai joined ASW from its parent company CK Hutchison (formerly Hutchison Whampoa) in 2001. She was appointed Group COO in December 2013 and CEO in November 2019.  She has been instrumental in formulating the company’s customer strategy, driving digital transformation, building big data analytics capabilities, as well as developing strategic partnerships with international suppliers and technology companies. ASW is the largest international health and beauty retailer with annual revenue of $20bn and a network of more than 16,000 offline and online stores, with 12 retail brands in 27 markets in Asia and Europe.

    Ngai will share her vision of how digital is impacting the beauty market and deliver valuable insights at the Beauty Tech Live Knowledge Hub.

    More speakers at the Beauty Tech Live event will be announced shortly. Find out more


  • e.l.f.’s Twitch play. Beauty brand e.l.f. Cosmetics has teamed up with Kathleen Belsteen, a personality on Twitch, the livestream platform for gamers. Belsteen, also known as Loserfruit or Lufu, will share content on Twitch and her other social-media channels featuring e.l.f.’s products. The move is part of e.l.f. Cosmetics’ push to attract younger consumers – more than 6.1 million users, mostly Gen Z, log onto Twitch daily. e.l.f. Cosmetics says that over 70% of its consumers play video games, while 65% like to watch gamers play on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Lufu has the second-largest Twitch following globally for a female gamer, according to data science platform, and has amassed over eight million followers across Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter. Lufu will also user her reach to push e.l.f. products to male followers, who may have not previously considered skincare and cosmetics. e.l.f. Cosmetics says it is one of the few beauty brands to have established a presence on Twitch. e.l.f. has also seen much success on TikTok over the past year.


  • New-format virtual stores.  Virtual versions of real boutiques are gaining steam. Italian fashion brand Dolce&Gabbana has launched virtual boutiques of its stores in Japan, Australia, Italy and Paris, where customers can see products in a store environment and click on items for product information. Shoppers can also book an appointment with a client adviser via phone or video call, create a Wish List and purchase products. Clarins also recently launched a virtual version of its stores, where users can visit the 3-D type format as if they were walking a real boutique.


  • TikTok still on top. Despite its political tangles, TikTok continues to find favor, with the number of its number of active users having almost tripled since 2018, according to mobile data and analytics platform App Annie. TikTok is forecast to reach 1.2 billion average monthly active users in 2021. The news comes as consumers spend more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also seeing growth are mobile game downloads and video streaming apps. This year saw an acceleration in downloading as users looked for more content options. However, App Annie notes that as the market becomes more fragmented consumers will look for mini, curated “bundles” of video streaming providers.