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RED: The ups and downs of social commerce

Digitally China

01-08-2019 • 30 minutos

Companies around the world are latching onto social commerce, but in China, where mobile payments are ubiquitous and consumers are extra wary of fake goods, the integration between social media and online shopping has been especially fast.

That doesn’t mean it’s a silver bullet for brands though -- or even the multi-billion dollar internet celebrity industry, where influencers are tasked with advertising products without appearing too commercial.

In this episode of Digitally China, we’ll discuss Xiaohongshu or RED, which is often compared to Instagram and Pinterest.

The fast-growing app, which is popular among young, female urbanites in China, has over 85 million monthly active users and is valued at $3 billion following a $300 million funding round last year led by e-commerce heavyweight Alibaba.


But the e-commerce side of RED is still behind more price-conscious competitors like Pinduoduo — and the app hit its latest roadblock earlier this week, when it was pulled from Chinese app stores.


We’ll cover some of the challenges the app is facing as it tries to grow its e-commerce business – monetizing its vibrant user community -- and manage the thousands of influencers on its platform.


Episode summary:

· Xiaohongshu backstory and introduction

· Xiaohongshu vs. competitors

· Xiaohongshu’s content quality problem

· Success cases of brands working with influencers

· Cosmetics: an industry where Chinese brands have really optimized social media and ecommerce


Guests:

· Elijah Whaley, chief marketing officer at Parklu, an influencer marketing tech firm in China

· Huo Qiu, a fashion and cosmetics influencer with over 1 million followers on Weibo and about 30,000 followers on Xiaohongshu


Hosts: Eva Xiao and Tom Xiong

Producer: Jacob Lovén


Digitally China is a subjective but independent depiction of the tech scene in China. Audio clips used in the podcast have not been distorted nor taken out of context and are included for commentary and educational purposes and thus shall be considered “Fair Use”. Digitally China is powered by RADII (www.radiichina.com), an independent media platform exploring China from all angles.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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