"In 2015, four of the world’s top 10 Internet companies ranked by market capitalization were Chinese, according to the data website Statista. China is now the world leader in e-commerce, with ordinary Chinese using their phones to invest, buy groceries or pay for street food."
In the past five years, China’s Internet population has soared. There are now almost 700 million Chinese Web users, about 20 percent of the world’s Internet users.
The focus on beauty and self-expression resonates in particular with Chinese women, who are a rising consumer force. A 2012 Boston Consulting Group report estimated that female earnings in China will grow from $350 billion in 2000 to $4 trillion in 2020.
“Meitu sits at the intersection of two exploding forces: Chinese mobile use and rising Chinese women,” said Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University in Beijing.
“I don’t know if they saw that coming, but they went with it.”
“Nowadays, when girls go out, it just means finding a place to take pictures and post them on social media,” she said.
Though you’d think that an app designed to “beautify” your face might inspire feelings of inadequacy, superfans insist it gives them confidence, providing an escape from real-world pressure.