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China's Meitu App Aims To Empower Women Through Selfies As 'Personal Advertisement'

By Cameron , Feb 22, 2017 11:18 AM EST
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Meitu, which means "pretty picture," has been gaining traction abroad with the use of its more advanced features to challenge apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Now, Meitu is reported to make the world more beautiful by promising to build an "ecosystem" of apps and devices focused on beautification.

Meitu's Plans For The Future

According to Phys, Meitu claimed that it had 430 million overseas users as of October last year, compared to Instagram that claimed to have around 500 million users. Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University, believes that though Meitu has been able to come up with a killer app, it never had a clear business model underneath. However, it seems that Meitu is changing that, because the company now promises to build an online "ecosystem" of apps and devices based on selfie-processing and plans to launch a fashion-focused e-commerce platform.

How Popular Is The Meitu App?

China is considered to be at the top on the list in regards to mobile-Internet users with 700 million. In that figure, around 450 million are said to be active Meitu users, making Meitu one of the most downloaded apps in China. As for the 430 million overseas users mentioned earlier, its half-dozen applications are regularly among the top photo-app downloads in countries such as Russia, Japan, India and Malaysia.

Why Is It Popular In China?

William Chow, an internet analyst for Deloitte China, says that Meitu has really appealed to the beauty concept of China's post 95s. A woman named Hu Dongyuan, a travel agency employee, was asked why millions of Chinese women such as herself uses the Meitu app. According to Hu, it is the same as clothing and makeup, and everyone uses it as a kind of personal advertisement. Hu also likens the said app to a cheap, non-permanent form of cosmetic surgery. The app itself caters to Chinese beauty preferences for lighter skin and rounder eyes.

Meitu's Anime Makeover app

Speaking of lighter skin and rounder eyes, Meitu has launched a new photo-editing feature just last month. The free photo-editing app, which is available for iOS and Android, lets its users take selfies or upload pictures from their camera roll and edit it as an adorable anime-like character. Regarding what editing tools that the app offers, it has tools to adjust skin tone, remove acne, make the face slimmer and taller and enlarge and brighten the eyes. The app also has special effects and brushes to edit the picture to an anime-like character.

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