RED is used as a search engine, how can I tap into RED to sell more?

Starting life as a beauty product review app, RED has now become a major social media platform and its content covers everything – product reviews, travel experiences, restaurant recommendations, cooking recipes, job interview tips, time management softwares, house prices and real estate opportunities, toys, books, even how to quickly stop hiccups, and so much more.

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Based on the official data, RED now has 200 million active users, 72% of RED users are post-90s, and 50% of them are living in tier-1 and tier-2 cities in China. With regard to overseas RED users, there is no official data, but from the amount of content about Australian life, we are very confident that RED is also a popular platform for Chinese people living in Australia.

Another interesting fact is that male users have increased by 30% compared to the same time last year (Nov 2021), contributing to a wider range of hot topics, e.g. tech and sport.

RED as a search engine

RED has a huge pool of user-generated content and a great recommendation system – you will always easily find what you want on RED!

Baidu has been the biggest search engine in mainland China since Google pulled out of the country in 2010, even though Baidu has gone through a hard time since the scandal of its SEM service which turned out to be ‘cash for listing’.

Baidu is still the most likely search engine for many Chinese people, but interestingly enough, some people, especially younger generations, now turn to RED when they are looking for an answer to their question or a product/service recommendation.

How come a social media platform is considered more powerful than a real “search engine”? The answer is that a real person’s experience and reviews are more trustworthy. The content pool on RED is big enough that you can quickly find the content you need, and most importantly, you may also find content written by users who are in a very similar situation to you so their experience is highly valued!

The below comments are from RED users sharing why they use RED as search engine:
  • Information from Baidu is not timely, nor personalised. But RED is.
  • RED information is simple and straightforward, while on Baidu you need to find the real information among the ads.
  • Baidu has too many ads and doesn’t answer my question.
  • Baidu will also take me to RED.
  • RED has a lot of recent personal experiences. My dad travelled back to China during COVID, the information and experience shared by other RED users was extremely handy and relevant. 
  • RED is a community with real people, the comments are also useful.
  • RED can even push discount info at a nearby supermarket to me. The power of big data!
  • RED posts have text, images, videos, I can refer to more than one post for comprehensive information.


Some popular topics on RED:

RED as a marketing tool

As a community of life experience sharing, RED’s “seeding” feature has led to solid growth for KOLs in all categories, with beauty leading the way, the other popular categories include tourism, real estate, fitness, fashion, and food. 

These categories are also the most accessible categories for brands to invest in and thus marketers to utilise. More brands have decided to make themselves visible and searchable on this platform, for both awareness and sales purposes.

Learn more about what Chin Communications can do for you with RED.

RED content is powerful not only to gain customers, but also to test the real market

According to Bloomberg, RED’s valuation now exceeds $100 billion, relying on users and original content, giving it an advantage that other non-content platforms find difficult to match. 

RED provides interaction between brands and customers. On one hand, content will help draw new customers to the brand; on the other hand, brands can also rely on real people’s feedback to test and improve their products. 

McKinsey’s China Consumer Report 2021 indicates that to make a difference in the ever-changing Chinese consumer market, brands must be on the lookout for critical elements that can reshape the views and behaviour of Gen Z. RED is definitely the platform that can assist in this sense.

A RED strategy to start with

Based on our experience managing different campaigns on RED, brands from different sectors will need different strategies. Our Chinese marketing strategist is here to help, whether your brand is mature or new, whether your budget is big or small, we can find the best strategy for you.

Here are some general rules:

  1. Increase your brand exposure on Chinese digital channels – WeChat, RED, Douyin, Bilibili, and others, so customers are aware of your brand.
  2. Study your Chinese customers, create content that is relevant to Chinese customers’ preferences.
  3. Identify and partner with the right influencers.


Here is a story that showcases the power of RED. Contact us on 1300 792 446 or email to start a free consultation.


Got a question? We’d love to hear from you


Level 4, 221 Queen Street, Melbourne 3000
GPO Box 2231, Melbourne 3001

P. 1300 792 446
F. 03 9670 0766

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