Little Red Book suspended from the Android Store
High-profile social commerce platform Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) has reportedly been suspended from the Android store since yesterday, July 29. A search for the app on the Android store indicates that it is “temporarily not available”, although it is still accessible from the Apple store.
A spokesperson for Red responded that they are actively investigating the issue and current Red users are not affected. The news spread like wildfire on Weibo, with more than 900,000 threads. Many netizens weren’t surprised and criticized the platform for being poorly managed and stuffed with fake reviews and paid ads. Some have also complained about the decline in the quality of publications since its launch.
Little Red Book, founded in 2013, is a social media and e-commerce platform that has grown into a popular app for sharing product reviews and purchase of cross-border goods. The platform grew rapidly, and within six years it had 200 million monthly active users. He is currently in talks to secure $ 500 million in additional funding. To tighten up its quality control concerns, Red underwent a series of content control measures. Last January, he launched his “brand partner platform”, which insisted that KOLs clearly label their sponsored posts. In May, it overhauled its entire KOL ecosystem and in doing so eliminated over 13,000 KOLs that had fewer than 5,000 subscribers. However, in June, officials from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology warned Red against soliciting information from consumers.
Under pressure from investors, the platform appears to be caught between trying to grow while trying to maintain high content quality. To date, many luxury brands are taking a wait-and-see approach to the platform despite its popularity. “We are still seeing the growth of the platform and whether the demographics match our target consumers,” said an anonymous New York-based executive in charge of US luxury brands in the Chinese market. Additionally, some brands have questioned ROI in terms of actual sales, as Red is largely a platform where consumers write and read reviews, not a literal sales site like the platforms. traditional e-commerce companies Tmall and JD.com.
Still, many luxury brands, especially high-end beauty brands, have created official account profile pages on the site, although for now these are primarily for sponsored KOL posts. Most notably, French fashion house Louis Vuitton was one of the first to adopt the platform, inviting Chinese influencer Mr. Bags to review their bags for their first item. To date, however, most other luxury brands have yet to release anything. Maybe once Red fixes their current platforming issues, things will change.