Xiaohongshu

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Xingin Information Technology (Shanghai) Co, Ltd
TypeSocial Networking & E-commerce
FoundedJune 2013
FounderMiranda Qu Fang & Charlwin Mao Wenchao
Headquarters
Shanghai, China
ProductsXiaohongshu (RED)
Websitexiaohongshu.com
Xiaohongshu
Simplified Chinese小红书
Traditional Chinese小紅書
Literal meaningLittle Red Book

Xiaohongshu (Chinese: 小红书; pinyin: xiǎohóngshū) is a social media and e-commerce platform. It has been described as "China's answer to Instagram".[1]

As of 2019, Xiaohongshu had over 300 million registered users[2] and the number of monthly active users is over 85 million.[3] 70% of its users are reportedly born after 1990,[4][5][6] and nearly 90% of them are females.[4] The app allows users and influencers to post, discover and share product reviews, most frequently related to beauty and health.[7] Travel bloggers are also known to regularly post content regarding tourism and leisure destinations on the platform.[8][9] Xiaohongshu also operates RED Mall, which sells international products to Chinese users.

Xiaohongshu's headquarters are in Huangpu District, Shanghai.[10]

History[edit]

Xiaohongshu was founded by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao in 2013,[11] as an online tour guide for Chinese shoppers, providing a platform for users to review products and to share their shopping experiences with the community. In October 2014, the founders started focusing on connecting Chinese consumers with global retailers and established its own cross-border e-commerce platform, where Chinese consumers can buy products from overseas and order directly.

In 2015, Xiaohongshu set up its warehouses in Shenzhen, Guangdong and Zhengzhou, Henan.[12]

By May 2017 Xiaohongshu had over 50 million users, with sales of nearly ¥10 billion, making it one of the world's largest community e-commerce platforms. Xiaohongshu's international logistics system REDelivery went into service during the month.[13] On 6 June that year, Xiaohongshu held a shopping festival to celebrate its fourth anniversary, which sees the sales revenue exceeded CN¥ 100 million in 2 hours, while the app ranked in first place in the iOS App Store under "Shopping" category during that day.[14]

In June 2018, Xiaohongshu completed a US$300 million funding led by Alibaba and Tencent, with a valuation of US$3 billion.[15]

Due to the platform's early focus on fashion and beauty trends, Xiaohongshu’s user base is predominantly female in its early years. 90% of Xiaohongshu users were women, according to a report published in April 2021.[16][17] The app had attracted affluent Gen Z female users in urban China as an alternative to Instagram, which is blocked in the country.[18] Xiaohongshu subsequently adjusted its corporate strategy to attract more male users to maintain its growth. In 2021, it announced that the platform would promote male user content.[19][20] Xiaohongshu also started increasing advertising in male-centric online spaces, such as the Hupu sports forum with advertising taglines, “Beautiful ladies are all here on Xiaohongshu, free to see, without spending any money!”, ⁣[21] while another Xiaohongshu ad shown on forum site Baidu Tieba read, “Sexy, beautiful car models and stylish beauties are waiting for you.”[17]

In October 2021. Xiaohongshu decided to transfer the IPO from the United States to Hong Kong. According to a Bloomberg report in July, this includes requiring all companies holding more than 1 million user data to submit a cyber security review, which is one of the reasons for the suspension of Xiaohongshu's listing in the United States.[22]

As of March 15, 2022, Xiaohongshu has launched the algorithm close button, allowing users to turn off "personalized recommendation" in the background with one click.

At the end of the 2019, Xiaohongshu began to test the live streaming platform, and will officially launch live streaming with commerce in January 2021.

Controversy[edit]

In October 2021, Xiaohongshu received criticism for condoning heavily filtered, stylized photographs and perfectly captured imagery that was becoming increasingly common on the platform's feeds. On 17 October 2021, the platform issued a statement on WeChat to acknowledge that there was a problem of travel influencers posting “overly beautified” photos of scenic spots. According to the statement, Xiaohongshu issued an apology and indicated that because "bloggers did not clearly label their works as creative photography, people interpreted them as part of travel guides. Users who visited the locations were disappointed by the differences between their expectations and reality".[23][24]

In December 2021, in response to loss of public trust towards the authenticity of content hosted on its platform, Xiaohongshu formed a dedicated team to identify and remove fraudulent content. A system that uses algorithms and human checks to block falsified content was also implemented. Since then, the platform has banned 81 brands and merchants, deleted 172,600 fake reviews, and disabled 53,600 accounts, according to the company.[25]

On 19 January 2022, an announcement was made by Xiaohongshu to indicate that the company has filed a lawsuit against four companies behind several ghostwriting broker sites in an attempt to restore consumer trust. In an official statement made by Xiaohongshu, the company alleged that the four companies had set up marketplaces for merchants and gig writers to carry out fraudulent practices, including the production of fake reviews and click farming. Xiaohongshu has asked for US$1.57 million in damages for a bruise to its reputation and the infringement of consumer rights on its platform.[25][26]

On 25 January 2022, reports emerged that Xiaohongshu has received a fine totaling ¥300,000 from local authorities in Shanghai for failing to remove content that was deemed harmful to minors. The fine relates to a violation of cybersecurity law that guarantees protection for minors after an earlier media report was made by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) in December 2021, that it found videos posted on Xiaohongshu showing underage girls in various states of undress, featured in advertisements for underwear brands.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "China's answer to Instagram is sorry for over-filtered images". South China Morning Post. 2021-10-18. Archived from the original on 2022-01-03. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  2. ^ "About Xiaohongshu". Xingin Information Technology (Shanghai) Co, Ltd (in Chinese (China)). Archived from the original on 15 February 2019. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ 常涛. "内容涉嫌违规?小红书突遭下架,近五个月争议不断". WeChat Official Accounts Platform. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  4. ^ a b 益普索 x 小红书 | 2020小红书年中美妆洞察报告 (PDF) (in Simplified Chinese). Ipsos (益普索). 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  5. ^ Wei, Daniela; Banjo, Shelly (24 April 2019). "The Future of Shopping Is Already Happening in China: China's Gen Z Skips the Stores and Shops on Social Media". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.(subscription required)
  6. ^ "小红书_标记我的生活". www.xiaohongshu.com. Archived from the original on 2020-02-01. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  7. ^ "Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book) is fostering e-commerce via word of mouth - WalktheChat". WalktheChat. 10 June 2018. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  8. ^ Twigg, Melissa. "Why China doesn't keep up with the Kardashians (or Hadids)". Inkstone News. Archived from the original on 11 May 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  9. ^ Analysis report of China's travel industry in first half of 2020 (PDF). Digipanda. 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  10. ^ "Home". Xiaohongshu. Retrieved 2022-04-22. 地址:上海市黄浦区马当路388号C座
  11. ^ Flannery, Russell (2 June 2018). "Alibaba, Tencent, K11 Adrian Cheng Join $300M Investment Round For Xiaohongshu". Forbes. Archived from the original on 23 February 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Billion Dollar Unicorns: Xiaohongshu Leverages Social Commerce to Join the Club". Sramana Mitra. 19 June 2018. Archived from the original on 22 June 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  13. ^ Sentance, Rebecca (23 October 2018). "Xiaohongshu: How a Chinese ecommerce app built a thriving community around UGC". EConsultancy. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  14. ^ Dudarenok, Ashley (17 June 2018). "How to launch your product on China's popular Xiaohongshu fashion platform". The Next Web. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  15. ^ Udemans, Christopher (1 June 2018). "Alibaba leads $300 million investment in Xiaohongshu". Technode. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  16. ^ 199IT (2021-04-23). "千瓜:2021小红书活跃用户画像趋势报告". finance.sina.com.cn. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  17. ^ a b Zhang, Wanqing (2022-03-18). "China's Instagram Wants More Male Users. It's Using Women as Bait". Sixth Tone. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  18. ^ Soon, Weilun. "China's popular Xiaohongshu app counts Kim Kardashian and Eileen Gu as users. Sources say it's staffing up to launch internationally". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2022-03-11. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  19. ^ Xiong, Caicai (2021-08-17). "「爹味更重」的小红书,它的二次发育诊断如何". m.jiemian.com. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  20. ^ "男人跑来小红书教女人做事了?". www.jiemian.com. Archived from the original on 2022-03-19. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  21. ^ 市场资讯 (2022-01-07). ""超多美女尽在小红书,免费看"?". finance.sina.com.cn. Archived from the original on 2022-01-07. Retrieved 2022-03-19.
  22. ^ Fioretti, Julia (Oct 11, 2021). "China's Little Red Book to Shift IPO to Hong Kong From U.S." Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 2021-12-05. Retrieved 2021-12-05.
  23. ^ "Xiaohongshu faces crisis of trust over edited photos that 'deceive' users". KrASIA. 2021-10-20. Archived from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  24. ^ 小红书. "坚持真诚分享,坚信普通人帮助普通人". Weixin Official Accounts Platform. Archived from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  25. ^ a b "Xiaohongshu sues ghostwriter brokers over fraudulent promotional content". KrASIA. 2022-01-20. Archived from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  26. ^ 小红书. "小红书起诉微媒通告等4家涉虚假种草通告平台及MCN机构,索赔1000万元". Weixin Official Accounts Platform. Archived from the original on 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  27. ^ "Authorities fine Xiaohongshu RMB 300,000 for failing to protect minors". KrASIA. 2022-01-25. Archived from the original on 2022-01-25. Retrieved 2022-01-25.

External links[edit]