It’s Instagram and Pinterest sprinkled with a dose of Taobao. China’s cross-border social shopping platform Xiaohongshu (XHS) has been rising fast since its founding five years ago, attracting investors such as Tencent and securing its latest $300 million Series D round of funding from investors including Alibaba.

XHS, however, is different than another famous Chinese social e-commerce site Pinduoduo that targets bargain hunters and penny pinchers. This style-obsessed platform has carved up a special niche in the heart of 100 million of China’s young, middle-class, and mostly female consumers. And, according to experts, it’s not an e-commerce platform at all.

“XHS is not a cross-border e-commerce platform, it’s a product search engine,” according to Lauren Hallanan, Chinese social media expert, VP of Live Streaming at The Meet Group and an XHS influencer.

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Masha Borak

Masha Borak is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Write to her at masha.borak [at] technode.com. Pitches with the word "disruptive" will be ignored. Read a good book - learn some more adjectives.