CHINA: Beijing will lift a ban on direct sales on Dec. 1, the government stated, clearing the way for such companies as Avon Products Inc. to expand into its booming market for cosmetics and other consumer products.
China banned direct sales in 1998, saying it was difficult for consumers to tell the difference between sales networks and fraudulent pyramid schemes. The ban was a major setback for Avon, Amway Corp. and other companies that depend on networks of independent salespeople. Avon, Amway and eight other foreign direct-sales companies were allowed to stay in China, but were required to sell their products through retail outlets.
In related news, Singapore’s Best World International, a direct seller of cosmetics and healthcare products, will also return to China when door-to-door sales are legalized this year.