Why Kim Kardashian Joining Chinese Social Network Could Be a Very Smart Move

It seems like Kim Kardashian is venturing in the local Chinese market, as she revealed joining the Little Red Book app, a Chinese social shopping platform. A smart move for the ever so smart entrepreneur (say what you want about her, she is).

Little Red Book or RED might not be a known name for a lot of people in the West, but in China it’s probably the opposite. RED has seen a major outburst in growth in the last year. Local Chinese celebrities, big or small, have created their official accounts on the popular site. Interestingly, the app provides a mix of reviews, videos, photos, and content that you can share online. It’s an all-in-one platform with over 100 million registered users, of which 30 million are active. And with its e-commerce possibilities, an interesting space for Kim Kardashian to engage in.

Screenshot of RED-app with Kim Kardashian

The almost 90% female users of RED were evidently happy to see Kim K on the platform, as she gained over 16k followers right after joining. Even though fans of Kim have always been quick to appreciate her new moves, they feel that with her joining RED she will be bringing KKW beauty products into China. Something that’s long waited on by a lot of Chinese followers. Furthermore, users are also excited because they feel that if Kim K has made her way into China’s social networks, other Hollywood celebrities will too.

And they probably should. China has a lot to offer as far as the e-commerce industry is concerned. It is being said that the industry will reach $1.8 trillion by 2022 and that’s a huge number. International brands are further eyeing the ever-growing Chinese market, even in times of a trade war between China and the US.

However, all is not gold. According to Claire Lin, co-founder of China Fashion Collective, it’s not necessary that foreign celebrities coming into the Chinese market will generate sales. In fact, Lin said that foreign celebrities who have been using such platforms in the past weren’t that successful.

Little Red Book gained traction in China as it allowed the locals to buy international cosmetic products that were previously off-limits or came with too many barricades likes, well, shipping. From 17 million users last month, it now has 100 million registered users. What makes it more interesting is that the app lets you share reviews and tips regarding these products. It’s a heaven for make-up fans and a close community. Kim K making her Little Red Book move is a positive sign for both the celebrity and the app. However, whether or not this will mean higher sales or growth is still uncertain.

The trick to capture the interest of the Chinese users, is to offer personal (or beneficial) connections. According to Jessica Plotnick, Marketing & Communications manager at Ogilvy, “The trick is to find the right platform in a landscape that is increasingly fragmented”. Further, she said that platforms such as this allow brands to do this, but at the same time, they can also leverage the e-commerce centric customer experience. So, it’s the same old. Influencers and brands can succeed by creating meaningful relationships with their customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re in China or in the US.


Written by Pete Gabriel

Journalist and tech lover.