While Shoptalk’s educational sessions and keynotes were the heart of retail focused show earlier this week, sidebars with show attendees turned out to be just as valuable. CEW sat down with several Alibaba Group team members to hear the latest about what’s happening in beauty at one of the world’s largest retailers.

For one, using Alibaba’s Global platform, Tmall Global platform, to bring indie brands into China, and Generation Z’s penchant for luxury beauty products.

Also, Tmall held its annual Beauty Awards this week in Shanghai, announcing an expansion in its beauty offerings by adding another 1,000 beauty-focused stores to the platform to meet burgeoning demand from Chinese consumers. Seven international cosmetics companies, including Tom Ford Beauty; Glamglow; P&G’s new beauty line, Oriental Therapy; Japan’s Cosme and d-program; Primera from Korea and Barnängen from Sweden have already signed agreements to open flagship stores on Tmall in 2019.These latest announcements are part of Tmall’s ongoing drive to cement itself as the platform of choice for beauty brands to connect with Chinese shoppers.

Soon, the conversation turned to Shiseido’s new Hangzhou office, which houses a team of 20 employees, strategically located by Alibaba’s headquarters to facilitate developing products tailored exclusively for Tmall and other Alibaba sites. The Japanese beauty company has been selling cosmetics through these sites since 2015.