'Red' or Xiaohongshu (小红书) is a shopping and product review social app serve its 96 million users in China purchasing overseas products.
With its business name meaning, 'little red book', this modern version is in stark contrast to Chairman Mao's famous bible full of proclamations of self-reliance and anti-capitalist ideology.
Indeed, 'Red' started operations in 2013 as a small online community that allowed users to share cross-border shopping tips, to later became an online review and shopping platform instead. Now, users can not only record and share their lives by marking out their favourite products and services through pictures, video and blogs, but also have these goods delivered straight to their doorstep in just a few clicks.
Similar to Amazon's Magic, Red is well trained to accommodate user preferences through its algorithms backed by deep learning and Artificial Intelligence. Additionally, user-generated content is shared through the community with billions of product reviews published about every aspect of life: skincare, cosmetics, food, travel, video, books, fitness and much more.
However, unlike western social channels such as Pinterest and Instagram, Red also provide users with products directly from merchants. Goods from the US, Japan and Korea are sourced from Red’s global business partners, then warehoused in China’s eCommerce trade-free zones, to then be delivered to users.
Claiming a monthly active userbase of 30 million last month, the company has skyrocketed to become one of China’s biggest lifestyle sharing platforms, recently closing its $300 million Series D funding round led by Internet giant Alibaba. Other backers of the investment include GSR Ventures, Tencent, GGV Capital, ZhenFund, Genesis Capital together with individual investors including K11’s Adrian Cheng. 'Red' now stands with a valuation of US$3 billion after this latest round of investment.
'Red' has publicly announced it is looking for more international business partners to cooperate in providing more qualified products to its increasing number of users.