Aug 19, 2020|

Sizzling Adult Products Consumption under COVID-19. JD Data Doesn’t Lie


by Ella Kidron

When it comes to adult products, COVID-19 may have impacted purchase choices, but certainly hasn’t caused consumer interest to wane.

A report released just ahead of Chinese Valentine’s Day (Qixi七夕, July 7th on the lunar calendar, falls on July 25th this year) by the JD Big Data Institute finds that while the pandemic drove a huge increase in demand for contraceptives, it also seems to have stimulated long-distance partners’ desire to make purchases for their counterparts from afar.

Above all, the report underscores that JD’s strong supply chain capabilities, wide range of high quality choices, fast logistics and protection of privacy have taken away some of the traditional embarrassment some consumers of the adult products categories face, and made it more convenient for people to satisfy their needs in this area. Furthermore, JD’s constant delivery, ensured a strong market for adult products brands, even under the pandemic.

JD data shows that from January to June, demand for family planning products increased over 30% YOY, and was roughly equivalent to every person who has bought related products on JD buying 44 condoms and two boxes of emergency contraceptives each. In February, growth of condoms alone increased nearly 50% YOY. Impacted by the pandemic, adult products growth in Hubei province, the epicenter of the pandemic, fell sharply in February this year compared with that of last year, after which it gradually approached the national average and then slowed a tad in June.

As can be seen from the dramatic changes in related search keywords, likely affected by the external environment under COVID-19, the growth of adult toys in 2020 is lower than that of contraceptives and functional medicines. The aircraft cup  / masturbation cup (飞机杯) and vibrator (震动棒) ranked as the top men’s and women’s adult products respectively, followed by simulation dolls (仿真娃娃) and egg vibrators (跳蛋). Lingerie, other adult toys and simulation dolls ranked top three in terms of traffic. Looking deeper into men’s products, it so happens that the largest “doll” merchants are from Wuhan, explaining some of the impact on inflatable / simulation dolls this year.

With the gradual improvement of the COVID-19 situation in the second quarter, JD’s big data analysis found that “remote” orders for condoms and contraceptives demonstrated a significant upward trend since April, with the number of emergency contraceptives purchased reaching 150% in May, compared with the same period last year, perhaps suggesting the reuniting of long-distance lovers following lockdowns and road closures. Overall, emergency contraceptives have increased 53% YOY.

One thing worth noting is that tropical Hainan province, dubbed “China’s Hawaii” saw the fastest year-on-year turnover of adult products on JD in June, increasing 111% YOY and 208% month-on-month. According to’s “Interprovincial Travel Recovery Half Month Report”, Hainan’s Sanya firmly topped the list of the most popular destination cities in June, with the number of tourists growing by 210% month-on-month.

Among consumers who have purchased contraceptives on JD, the most frequent feedback is along the lines of, “JD delivers quickly”; “The quality of the imported goods is the same as what you can get at the hospital”; and “Prices are cheaper than the drugstore.”

In 2020, the purchase of masturbation products for the opposite sex by women consumers has increased by about 30%.  Intercity orders increased by about 120%, perhaps suggesting an attempt to ensure their partners’ needs are taken care of even when they are not together. There is a significant increase in purchases by women with higher education backgrounds.

The top 10 brands on JD in terms of turnover in 2020 are: Durex, Okamoto, Wanaike, Jinge, Bililing, Jissbon, Cialis, Mizz zee, Duzihate and Skvakom. From a category perspective turnover is highest in contraceptives, followed by functional medicine and then the sexual interest / adult toys category.

According to an iResearch report, in 2020 the adult toys market will exceed RMB 130 billion yuan in size, and Internet retailing in the space will exceed RMB 60 billion yuan thanks to the privacy and convenience advantages it offers.