TikTok E-commerce issued a Public Notice on the Addition of “[Medical Device] Category Management Specifications to the company. After its parent company ByteDance has ventured into the medical field several times, its product TikTok has also begun to sell medical devices.
TikTok E-commerce, a Chinese short video live-streaming e-commerce platform, issued a Notice on the New “[Medical Device] Category Management Specification (hereinafter referred to as the “Notice”), with a publicity period of April 7-14, 2022.
According to the “Notice”, TikTok E-commerce has integrated and added medical device products previously summarized in the “beauty”, “personal care”, “smart home” and ” health care” industries, and divided them into 5 first-class categories: contact lenses/nursing fluids, family planning supplies, beauty and body medical equipment, health care/nursing/physiotherapy equipment and health care, including medical dressings, contact lenses, nose washers, nebulizers, gauze bandages (instruments) and other 42 sub-categories.
Among them, the first-level category of “beauty and body beautification medical equipment” includes two second-level categories of “hygiene/wound/medical dressing” and “colour contact lenses”. The Notice also requires that the two secondary categories only allow targeted access to brand flagship stores and at the same time implement category targeting, that is, the platform targets to invite some merchants and license them after reviewing the licenses.
At present, there are only nine brands in the category of “health/wound/medical dressings”, namely: Voolga, FulQun, Comfy, trauer, Cofoe, JUYOU Bio-tech, YIFU, FACE LIVE, WINONA, all of which are Chinese brands.
It is worth noting that the Notice puts forward clear requirements for the form of promotion. At present, selling commodities in off-line stores and TikTok malls is only allowed. In addition, merchants and celebrities are not allowed to promote it in the form of live streaming and short videos.
According to the National Medical Products Administration, the number of filings for online sales of medical devices in China rose from 20,000 in October 2020 to 73,000 in November 2021. The number of online platform filings for third-party medical devices jumped from 209 at the end of 2020 to 347 in 2021, the highest growth rate in the past two years. According to data from Deloitte and other research institutions, in 2020, the size of China’s medical device market is close to $125.68 billion.
With the continuous expansion of the sales scale on China’s medical device network, violations of laws and regulations have also increased. In recent years, China has tightened its supervision in the medical and health field, especially in the field of medical aesthetics, which has become the main object of compliance supervision.
In November 2021, State Administration for Market Regulation successively issued the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Medical Beauty Advertising and the Measures for the Administration of Internet Advertising (Draft for Public Comment), mainly to strengthen the supervision of medical beauty advertising, effectively maintain the order of the medical beauty advertising market, so as to further improve the internet advertising supervision system and protect the legitimate rights and interests of consumers.
In March 2022, China tightened its medical aesthetic supervision again. In a short period of time, the National Medical Products Administration has issued two official notices on Adjusting the Classification Catalogue of Medical Devices, including the Announcement on Adjusting Part of the Classification Catalogue of Medical Devices (No. 25 ) and the Announcement on Adjusting Part of the Contents of the Classification Catalogue of Medical Devices (No. 30 ), both of which have made significant adjustments to the catalogue of medical beauty products and announced that China’s medical aesthetic industry has entered a new strong cycle of regulation.
We still don’t know whether the medical devices included in TikTok E-commerce can become a new growth point for TikTok E-commerce this time. However, under the stricter supervision of relevant departments in China, most importantly, TikTok E-commerce has to do a good job in its platform supervision, namely, assuming their corresponding responsibilities. Otherwise, it may be punished for poor supervision before performance growth.