Reaching out

Updated: 2011-04-14 14:13

By Zhong Nan (

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Condom makers are enlarging their presence in smaller cities to boost sales

Size does matter when it comes to selling condoms in China – but not in the way you think.

Condom retailers and makers are now targeting China's smaller cities and towns, rather than the larger cities such as Shanghai, Beijing or Guangzhou, to boost their sales.

Take retailer Shao Yufei for example. "A smaller city is the place to be," says the 32-year-old who has opened a store in Yantai, regarded as a second-tier city, in East China's Shandong province.

Shao ran a sex shop in Beijing in 2007 and pulled the shutters down a year later, due to sluggish business. He then opened another in Guangzhou and ran it for only six months.

"I thought people in South China, where China's opening-up started, should have a large demand for condoms. But I was wrong. The business was just bad," he says.

He now has found that Yantai, a city considered small when compared with Shanghai or Guangzhou, as the ideal place. Its population is about 7 million, compared with Shanghai's 19 million and Guangzhou's 10 million.

Shao sells about 300 yuan (32.25 euros) worth of condoms a day in Yantai, most of them the more expensive foreign brands such as Durex and Jissbon. In Beijing, his daily sales were worth about 100 yuan.

To read more, please get a copy of China Daily European Weekly due to be published on April 15, or visit on the same day.


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