Social e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu pulled from China’s app stores

1 min read
A user browses the Xiaohongshu app. (Image credit: TechNode/Eugene Tang)
A user browses the Xiaohongshu app. (Image credit: TechNode/Eugene Tang)

Chinese social e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu, also known as RED in overseas markets, was pulled from major Chinese Android stores on Monday and it is unclear when the app will be made available again for download.

Why it matters: Xiaohongshu’s delisting again exposes the platform’s vulnerability stemming from its heavy reliance on user-generated content. Some industry insiders suggest that the removal may be related to falsified content used to hike product sales.

Details: Xiaohongshu is in communication with regulators to reach a solution, Global Times reported. When TechNode searched for Xiaohongshu on Tencent’s Yingyongbao and Wandoujia marketplaces, the app could not be found.

  • The app is also unavailable on the handset-specific marketplaces for Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi phones.
  • Those who have already installed the app are not affected.
  • The app is still available on Apple’s App Store in China and the Google’s Android Play Store, which can only be accessed outside of China.

Context: Xiaohongshu hosts more than three billion graphics and short videos on its platform daily, 70% of which are user generated. Users can post reviews of products and shopping experiences and share other users’ content. If they spot something they are interested in, they can buy them directly on the platform.

  • Founders Yu Fang and Mao Wenchao said in internal memos in June that the platform has reached a total of 250 million users and exceeds 85 million monthly active users.
  • Many users, however, believe that the platform is rife with fake reviews.

Xiaohongshu fights fraudulent reviews on user-powered e-commerce platform