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L’Oreal SA is setting itself up to capitalize on the forgotten half of China’s cosmetics market: men.

L’Oreal China, an arm of the Paris-based beauty company, is teaming with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall to focus on China’s male-grooming industry, according to a statement Friday. The maker of Maybelline this week launched a flagship store on the internet platform for House99, the brand founded by soccer star David Beckham to sell high-end face cream, pomade and beard oil. The two companies are also co-hosting a pop-up store in Hangzhou, where Alibaba is based.

Cosmetics makers and other consumer companies have been targeting Chinese women over the past few years, pursuing an increasingly affluent and savvy middle class that’s ready to spend on beauty and luxury. At the same time, they’re discovering huge potential among the country’s males.

Online sales of men’s grooming products have increased by more than 50 percent in each of the past two years, and 62 percent of males between the ages of 15 and 50 said they used male-specific facial-skin-care products last year, according to a white paper developed by Tmall and L’Oreal.

Written by Daniela Wei with assistance by Jeff Sutherland for Bloomberg

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