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Xiaohongshu’s public apology for photoshoped tourist photos

The local tourism industry is booming in China, and Xiaohongshu(the instagram of China) is playing a role in local promotion in 2022.

The world is more beautiful with the help of PS (photoshop)

Billboards are now a thing of the past, and what they can advertise are posts on their social networks like pic sharing plateform like Little Red book (xiaohonshu).

But what if those beautiful shots of heavenly places were actually just Photoshop?

Yes crazy you are right

If you want to know more, read the rest of this article.

  • Overly photoshopped vacation snaps on Xiaohongshu
  • The collective anger of Xiaohongshu users
  • The position of the Xiaohongshu application

Too much photoshopped vacation pictures on Xiaohongshu

The tourism industry in China relies on Chinese social networks to advertise. Indeed, all it takes is one good photo on a social network for a new attraction to explode: a carefully composed shot that gives people a taste for adventure and convinces them to visit the place without asking too many questions about the authenticity of the image.

With the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions and the revival of the tourism industry, Xiaohongshu’s “travel” category has exploded with posts from influencers touting new travel destinations, sometimes editing their photos to look nothing like the real thing. 

But following numerous complaints, social e-commerce site Xiaohongshu had to publicly apologize after a huge number of heavily photoshopped images of tourist attractions misled users.

The collective anger of Xiaohongshu users

One of the most convincing examples is the case of Fuxian Lake, in Yunnan province. This lake gained some notoriety on Xiaohongshu thanks to beautiful photos of a beach covered with pink sand. But when hundreds of visitors went there during the recent National Day vacation, they discovered an unkempt lake shore littered with broken bricks and debris.

This led many disgruntled tourists to speak out against the misleading content they had seen on Xiaohongshu, prompting other travelers who had similar experiences with the app’s landmarks to share their stories. The collective anger quickly turned into a social media campaign, where several hashtags – such as “I won’t trust Xiaohongshu anymore” and “How powerful are Xiaohongshu filters?  – have become trends on Weibo and garnered millions of views.

 Xiaohongshu acknowledged in a statement on Sunday that some travel influencers had “over-embellished” photos of tourist spots. “Because these content creators did not clearly indicate that their photos were photographic works, they were perceived as travel reviews,” the company wrote. “We sincerely apologize to our users.”

Xiaohongshu app’s stance

Xiaohongshu notes that the app already had provisions in its community guidelines “calling on users to avoid excessive photo editing,” especially in the beauty and fashion sector. In addition, it wants to improve the reliability of its travel content by implementing a series of actions:

  • Additional exposure to posts revealing the reality of tourist traps.
  • A new feature that allows users to rate the places they have visited.

Founded in 2013, Xiaohongshu initially positioned itself as an online community that recommended overseas e-commerce sites to Chinese consumers. However, the app later moved into the social media space, repositioning itself as a platform for influencers and average users to share product reviews and life updates. Last year, the app had more than 1,000 employees, and its monthly active users surpassed 300 million in 2021, according to its website, 67% female users.

In conclusion

Despite Xiaohongshu’s appeal has its commitment to encouraging honest posts from its users, the app also has to deal with false and misleading content that impacts the platform’s brand awareness.

We can market your destination, shop or business via Xiaohongshu.

Contact us for more. It is in your end.

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