What is Xiaohongshui (RED)

Just recently Instagram has added the possibility to buy products directly in the app. While this feature is new to western social media it is already in China where Xiaohongshu have had this feature since 2014. The media have reached more than 200 million users in January 2019 and have 5.6% of the total cross-border e-commerce market in China.



Xiaohongshu 2
Source: Xiaohongshu


So just what is Xiaohongshu?

Xiaohongshu also often called “RED” due to the translation of it being “Little Red Book” like the one Mao wrote. Xiaohongshu started out as a social media platform in which the users could share product reviews, using pictures or short videos, with a focus on foreign products. However, it quickly added the feature to buy the products directly in the app.

The propose of Xiaohongshu is to simplify the sharing and viewing of product recommendations and to discover new trends or products. This has created a platform where users are actively looking for reviews or new products to buy and test out themselves to then share their opinion of the product.

The best way to think of Xiaohongshu is taking Pinterest and Instagram cramped together with the added feature of an e-commerce platform.

Xiaohongshu’s main target audience

The main user of Xiaohonshu is female younger than 24 years of age. With 85% of the user on the platform being females. Age wise 84% is younger than 30 with the majority being younger than 24 with 58% of the users. Most of the users are living in tier 1 or tier 2 cities in China, however there has been an increasing number of users in the lower tier cities.

Xiaohongshu 200 million users
Source: Xiaohongshu


What is the common user behavior on Xiaohongshu

Most consumers are using Xiaohongshu to browsing and find new products, by reading interesting reviews or content. The main way for users discovers new products is by browsing the “home page” of Xiaohongshu, which creates customized content for each user depending on their previous likes and interests.

Users are also using the app to search for brands, products or topics they want to learn more about. Reviews on Xiaohongshu tend to have a higher level of trust, due to Chinese consumers generally trust other people’s opinion more than information found on brands website.

Currently, the most popular categories and topics on Xiaohongshu are beauty, skincare, baby & maternity, health food and fashion.

Buying on Xiaohongshu

The buying process on Xiaohongshu generally follow this process:

Browsing for a product or topic -> finding a relevant post -> leading to a landing page -> purchase of the product.

Therefore, high-quality content should be the focus of both KOLs and companies looking to sell on Xiaohongshu. The next blog focusing on Xiaohongshu will dive into the different types of content used on the platform.


Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of what Xiaohongshu (RED) is.

In an upcoming blog, we will talk about how companies/brands can best use Xiaohongshu to brand themselves.