A hot social media and e-commerce app has been taken off the shelves by various Android app stores of Chinese mobile brands such as Huawei, OPPO and Meizu without explanation. There is speculation that the app had many reviews supposedly written about users’ experiences that were faked.
Xiaohongshu – or Little Red Book – was created by Miranda Qu and Charlwin Mao in June 2013 as an all-in-one platform with both social media and e-commerce functions for mobile users.
As of March this year it allegedly had more than 220 million registered users and was continuing to grow rapidly. About 70% of these were reportedly young adults.
According to an internal newsletter issued on June 6, its sixth anniversary, Qu and Mao claimed that the number of active users on the platform exceeded 85 million a month, and its content has continued to diversify.
But in the first quarter of this year, Xiaohongshu was hit with the accusation that many social influencers were paid to write reviews and those reports were not declared as sponsored content.
In April, the company apologized and announced that they would check the entire website and remove any problematic content that sought to lure people into buying products.
However, the “fake reviews” incident continued to haunt the site and it has allegedly led to the app being removed on various Android stores.
The Paper reported that one of its writers sent a media inquiry to Xingin Information Technology (Shanghai), the company that operates the Xiaohongshu application, but it did not respond to news that it had been taken off the shelves at some Chinese tailored-Android stores.
Meanwhile, the app remains available on Apple’s iOS platform.