A woman receives aesthetic medicine treatment in Haian, Jiangsu province, on Feb 6. [Photo by XU JINGBAI/FOR CHINA DAILY] Chinese consumers in first-tier cities are becoming more rational regarding aesthetic medicine consumption, and as markets in these urban areas further expand and mature, quality, rather than price and fame, will become the most important factor for customers in choosing a service provider, according to business insiders. "As the pandemic is well-controlled with wide-ranging rollouts of vaccines on the way, the negative impact the pandemic has exerted on the aesthetic medicine industry is fading quickly, and we are confident in the industry's future prospects, especially in first-tier cities," said Jin Xing, founder and CEO of the country's leading online aesthetic medicine platform SoYoung. Aesthetic medicine demand will soon boom in first-tier cities in China, with consumers varying among different ages and occupations over time, Jin said. Treatment effects and price-performance will play a key role in consumer decisionmaking, as they will attach more importance to doctors' skills and sense of aesthetics for surgical procedures, while for non-to-minimally invasive procedures, product and service quality will matter greatly, he said. In the past, consumers used to believe without question that high prices meant high quality. But now they desire good service at reasonable prices, which means good doctors and professional institutions will have to pay more attention to market demand, Jin added. Service providers are also on the rise in first-tier cities, he said, adding that there are more than 600 aesthetic medicine practices in Beijing alone. Liu Di, founder and CEO of Gengmei, a Chinese online platform using AI systems to help users decide how to improve their appearance, said first-tier cities account for bulk of the demand in China's aesthetic medicine market, underpinned by big cities' leading position in domestic market stimulation and consumption upgrades. People in first-tier cities are more open-minded regarding new experiences, have more channels such as social media to inform themselves about aesthetic medicine and are less shy about spending money on themselves, all of which helps boost demand, Liu said. According to a recent report jointly released by Deloitte China and internet company Meituan, the industry is more popular in southern cities compared to northern cities. Women aged between 20 and 35 are the main driver of consumption, but mature female consumers have higher average spending levels. Popularity of skin management and anti-aging products are on the rise every year, such as hair removal, acne treatment and photon rejuvenation.