Xiaohongshu (小红书), the literal meaning of Little Red Book, is not Maoist propaganda but a dynamic online place connecting users from different part of China to share their reviews on products or any experiences.
This online review sharing platform does not seem satisfied with being a review sharing platform.
Recently, it starts testing a social commerce program on Wechat Mini Program, reported by 36kr. The social commerce program is called Xiao Hong Dian (小红店), literally meaning Little Red Store.
Xiao Hong Dian is still at the testing stage, so it cannot be directly found through the search bar
A screenshot of Xiao Hong Dian:
At this stage, Xiao Hong Dian launched 11 SKUs. All of them are food or snacks enjoying great popularity such as Sanyang Huoji Mian (essentially fast noodles). All of them somehow collaborate with Xiaohongshu.
Products for the next stage have not yet been decided.
According to 36kr, one reason for Xiap Hong Dian to start with food is because of its affordable price and possible large sales volume.
For now, Xiaohongshu has more than 200 million users, a sufficient base for it to seek suitable for making a profit.
For its e-commerce part, Xiaohongshu decided to make it asset-light serving like a platform connecting buyers and sellers instead of managing the supply chain and inventories themselves.
MAO Wenchao and QU Fang stated in an internal email that the main targets for 2019 will be growth and commercialization. And starting e-commerce seems to be the most obvious and straightforward way to commercialize.
It needs to be noted that many giants and startups are also looking at social e-commerce. The most successful social commerce is Pinduoduo listed in the US with the market cap around USD 35 billion.
For now, it can be hard to tell which characteristics can significantly distinguish it from its peers.