Modelling in Asia is changing

This article is for all Asian models who want to build their career. We will also explain all the options available to them to increase awareness and make more money.

Japan, Korea and China were closed for a long time. It was finally opened to the outside world. America, Europe were then considered exotic.

For any type of advertising, the asian need to see asian face to buy… but the Job has change so much.

Modelling is changing

More than ten years ago, Asian and China’s modeling market was dominated by a handful of established agencies. This type of business was so profitable and easy to make money that hundreds of local businesses were quickly created by highly-respected agencies on the Chinese mainland.

Apart from their western counterparts, Chinese model agencies didn’t really care about living accommodations or having English-speaking managers to communicate their models. It was possible for westerners to make good money despite the inconveniences of their local surroundings and daily misunderstandings. Westerners could earn 6-12 k$ for three months and then go home.


The demand for western faces was enormous. Chinese clients were not very intelligible and their customers weren’t demanding. This created chaos: Many agencies disappeared and many of their managers and models began to work independently.

China was a place where it was possible to make quick and easy money a few years back. However, things are changing. Today’s high competition between agencies, the rivalry between a large number of coming models, growing legislative/regulatory/ taxation pressure from the government, and finally becoming more and more savvy, choosy, and picky Chinese clients, making this business not that easy as it was before.

Chinese model agencies are adapting quickly to the demands of their market. This business is large and lucrative for them currently, however, it is less lucrative and much more competitive than in the past.

Today’s western models are still looking at the Chinese market for potential clients. It is now even easier to get into a Chinese modeling agency. However, most westerners return to their homes after contracts with agencies end. They still have hope that they will succeed in China next time, even after many failed attempts.


Chinese agencies work with models in credit base contracts in 90% of cases. This means that the model must pay for expenses listed in their balance sheet before they can start making money in China. After completing a sufficient amount of work, the model is eligible to start earning with the deduction of the agency fee per job.

Only a few lucky, well-experienced models travel to China with “warranty agreements”, which require that Chinese agencies pay them some salary on a monthly basis.


Everything goes smoothly from the very beginning for a Westerner who arrives in a Chinese modeling agency. The agency offers many types of jobs and has many castings. The model begins to plan for the future and waits until “minus” is covered. The number of jobs falls suddenly when the model reaches the point of making money.

Although the model is still available for castings, it’s not uncommon for almost all jobs to be filled by those new models. It turns out that the model can barely “cover a plus” and make almost nothing at home after the contract ends.

Chinese Marketing agencies “push” models that have just arrived to them to provide more jobs. However, they quickly switch to another job when the balance is exhausted. They don’t tell models the real price of the jobs they are giving.

Although it might seem unfair that Chinese model agencies are making money off westerners, in reality, they are the only way for most of their clients to survive on their highly competitive market.

Before you go on to China modeling, consider the following:

  • Asian agencies never lose money. They are making it on you
  • It’s impossible to know “how much”. They are telling you it.
  • You cannot change or control anything. You are not in your country
  • A contract in China is only a piece of paper


The Chinese modeling market remains huge. However, due to intense competition and the large number of new models, it is very difficult for many of them to get enough work. Only the most highly-qualified models can make good money in modeling. Models are flocking to China to “feed local agencies”, with 80% of them being Chinese.

It is more exciting to be a model agency than a model in China today. As I said, China is changing. Both the government and their clients are putting more pressure on Chinese modeling agencies. This market will soon be under tight control and balanced as in the best parts of the world.


It is difficult for westerners to make a living modeling in China. However, if you keep in mind that western faces can be used to advertise to Chinese customers, then there is a better solution to their needs.

The Chinese advertising market has been astonished by its digitalization speed and the increasing promotion power and salaries of its social media influencers over the last year.

Influencers in Asia can make money

Influencers, or Key Opinion leaders, are not a new concept in the west. These people have large numbers of followers on social media, like Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Companies are collaborating with Influencers and spending money to promote their products and services to their followers. China’s Influencers are more powerful than anywhere else in the world when it comes to promotion.

Chinese people are extremely connected and don’t mind being promoted on social media.

They also like celebrities working with big brands. Western audiences are not tolerant of promotions on social media.

According 2019 statistics, western influencers who have one million followers earn on average 3000$ per post on Instagram and 7000$ per post on YouTube.

The Chinese earn about 5000$ per post on Weibo, and 11000$ on WeChat.
Chinese influencers earn on average 2x more than westerners. This is because their audience is more loyal to advertising, and they are able to do more promotions than westerners. Their services have rising prices every year.

50 000USD per Post
For example Chinese Influencer Tomas Ye, (Gogoboi), charges approximately $50,000 per promotion and can host up to 15 brand partnerships monthly.

This is $9 million in yearly WeChat advertising revenue for an account with around 8 million followers.

Gogoboi’s Weibo page, which has 9,5 million followers, is likely to bring $15,000 per post with approximately 10 collaborations per monthly. Weibo advertising revenue of $ 1.8 million adds another $ 1.8million per year.

Tao Liang, a fashion blogger from China (Mr. Bag), who has set two sales records in the past two years.

Tod’s luxury handbag brand saw 300 sales in 2018 thanks to Tao, who sold them for a total of 470 000 USD (about 1570$ each) in just six minutes. He sold Givenchy handbags in 12 minutes for 170 000$ in 2017.

Japanese, Korean, VIetnam, Indonesian How do pretty girls make money in 2022?


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