Tampons in Shanghai, Finally!

Ladies, get ready to free up some much-needed suitcase space the next time you head home. Instead of stocking up on tampons from your home country, you can now easily purchase them in shops around Shanghai or order them online. Cotton Tampons has finally filled the gap in the market.

The first company to import applicator tampons to China, Cotton Tampons was founded by Leon Li. The American acknowledges the irony of a man trying to break into China’s tampon market. Initially, he imported motorcycle parts and scooters to America from Taiwan, a rather masculine occupation that took him to Shanghai two or three times a year. The idea to switch to a decidedly more feminine trade occurred when he received a special request from a friend in Shanghai.

“She asked me to bring back a box of tampons from the States. To me, that was strange, that first of all, she would ask me to buy tampons,” Li says. “At first, I didn’t believe her. I thought the [expat women in Shanghai] just weren’t looking hard enough.”

But when he got back in town, he did a bit of market research and noticed that the only tampons being sold were City Shop’s overpriced options or OB tampons without applicators. When the financial crisis took its toll on his motorcycle parts business, he started looking into the idea of bringing tampons to China.

Imported from Israel, the tampons are made in a factory that also produces a lot of the generic store brands sold in drug stores and grocers in the States and Australia. The tampons come in three sizes (mini, regular and plus) and are free of dye, chlorine and scent.

RMB 39 per box (16 tampons). Cotton Tampons can be found at Feidan, Pines and Strip & Browhaus. You can also order them online from anywhere in China at www.cottontampon.com. There is a RMB 5 delivery fee and no minimum order.