3 million Taiwanese engage in multi-level marketing

Competition from e-commerce is eating into revenue

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A Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store in Taipei (photo by Nagono)

A Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store in Taipei (photo by Nagono) (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The number of Taiwanese engaging in multi-level marketing crossed the 3-million mark by the end of last year, according to data from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).

Flexibility fueled the rise, though competition from e-commerce caused a drop in the sector’s revenue for the first time in three years, the Central News Agency reported.

At the end of 2017, 2.99 million Taiwanese were active in the sector, with the figure rising to 3.08 million one year later, meaning that 12.92 percent of the population were now involved in the practice, the FTC said.

More than two thirds, or 2.16 million, were women, thanks to the flexibility to combine family life with the marketing activities. The age group of 45 to 64 accounted for about a quarter of multi-level marketeers, only slightly more than the 20-44 age bracket, CNA reported.

As to the 6.31-percent decline in revenue from 2017 to last year, cosmetics and food supplements were among the products registering the steepest fall. Nevertheless, the food supplements still accounted for NT$50.37 billion (US$1.61 billion) out of the total of NT$83.03 billion (US$2.66 billion) recorded for 2018, the FTC said.