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Xiaohongshu is Linked with Alibaba’s Shopping Platform, Taobao in Alpha Test
COVID-19 and China

On November 28 2018, in a new round of alpha test of Taobao(淘宝), a Chinese shopping platform combined eBay and Amazon’s business modes, sellers could add related Xiaohongshu’s topic to their products, but the displayed contents would be subject to platform’s algorithm.

Xiaohongshu is a UGC (User-Generated Content) community for shopping and beauty lovers. Users could share their reviews about fashion and beauty products and even shopping experience in Xiaohongshu app. Founded in 2013, Xiaohongshu has received more than USD 400 million funding and its latest series D funding led by Alibaba Group was completed in June 2018 with the amount of USD 300 million.

After five months from receiving series D funding, Xiaohongshu’s cooperation with Alibaba’s Taobao initiated quietly. In recent alpha test, Taobao’s innovative try of adding the Xiaohongshu’s contents to related products targets at breaking down the wall of flows from Xiaohongshu and Taobao, and ultimately improving the shopping experience. The connection between product and content pushes Xiaohongshu closer to e-commerce while still maintaining its uniqueness as being a UGC community.

It is worth mentioning that Xiaohongshu’s community is a transformed integration of Instagram, Yelp, and Facebook -- picture/video sharing, reviews and social networking. Users within the community may have different social circles according to their shopping preference and post their personal product photos, reviews and even vlog to others in the community. Celebrities in residence at Xiaohongshu have brought Xiaohongshu intensified influence on celebrities’ followers. Users reading others product reviews and writing their own reviews are the main activities inside the community, while buying products is also available for insiders but is in emerging status. The cooperative relationship with China’s biggest e-commerce body, Taobao here, closes the ring of Writing-Sharing-Buying for Xiaohongshu and improves Xiaohongshu's ecosystem’s integrity.

--Author: FU YingWei; write to YingWei at YingWei@EqualOcean.com

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