Xiaohongshu – the death of a dream

By Will Clegg
5 min read
A user opens the Xiaohongshu app. (Image credit: TechNode/Eugene Tang)
A user opens the Xiaohongshu app. (Image credit: TechNode/Eugene Tang)

January 2019. I was incredibly bullish on Xiaohongshu (XHS).

The platform seemed to have it all: fresh investment from one of the biggest internet companies in China, a focused ecosystem that presented tangible value to a core psychographic and demographic group, and one of the best examples of Web 2.0.

Then in March, a post accusing XHS of misleading and malicious content went viral on Weibo.

There is little doubt in my mind that if this was not an orchestrated attack by Weibo, they at the very least saw an opportunity to slam a budding competitor.

Two weeks later in early May, XHS went against typical PR advice to ignore unfounded viral slander and instead took the bait—hook, line, and sinker. They issued a vague list of new content posting rules which specifically targeted content creators.
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