China’s e-cig market faces the possible threat of a government change of heart

An official change of mind in China towards e-cigarettes is expected to hit the country’s vaping market in the near future, with a possible crackdown on marketing and distribution.

A major new ECigIntelligence report suggests the past laissez-faire attitude of Beijing is unlikely to return and that this will have direct consequences for businesses operating in China.

One possible scenario is that the government may allow private companies to continue operations but under close observation to ensure their products do not target non-smokers or minors.

The government could also decide to crack down on the e-cig market, which as the report explains would have a significant negative impact on the growth in sales of tobacco-alternative products in the country.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join in to hear about news, events, and podcasts in the sector

    See more

    A third scenario would involve the China National Tobacco Company (CNTC) extending its existing control over traditional cigarettes to vaping products.

    In theory at least, the CNTC, commonly known as China Tobacco, already has a monopoly on e-cigarettes, just as it has on combustibles. The question is whether it will choose to exercise that monopoly.

    Our report outlines the belief that e-cigarettes represent a potential existential threat to China Tobacco because of the risk that they could undermine its core market. And that could prompt it to take action.

    ECigIntelligence estimates that there are currently 930,000 daily users of e-cigarettes in China. Though the adult vaping population has not grown significantly over recent years, we believe the value of the market has increased substantially and will continue to do so.

    – ECigIntelligence staff

    Author default picture


    This article was written by one of ECigIntelligence’s international correspondents. We currently employ more than 40 reporters around the world to cover individual vaping markets. For a full list, please see our Who We Are page.

    Our Key Benefits

    The global e-cigarette market is in an opaque regulatory environment that requires professionals to be on top of industry developments to make informed decisions and optimise their strategy.

    ECigIntelligence provides organisations with leading market and regulatory data analysis to anticipate and understand market developments globally and the impact of regulatory changes to the business.

    • Stay informed of any legal and market change in the sector that impacts your organisation
    • Maximise resources by getting market and legal data analysis daily in one place
    • Make smart decisions by understanding how the regulatory and market landscape evolves
    • Anticipate risks in your decisions by monitoring regulatory changes that impact your organization