Chinese bloggers have attracted millions of followers fascinated by their lifestyle, food and travel plans. Advertisers see them as effective channels to reach their desired audiences. This article explores the Chinese blogging market and highlights some of the top Chinese influencers.
Chinese bloggers, or Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), use a variety of tactics to increase their social media popularity. Chinese influencers have interests spanning travel, beauty, cooking, business, finance and more, and can be a valuable asset for those who understand the Chinese market.
Advertising with Chinese influencers is a common and expected practice in China. Reputation is a critical component in the Chinese online space, and popular Chinese influencers take a great deal of responsibility when publishing posts, especially those that promote products.
The high level of trust in Chinese influencers is due to their professional expertise in their respective fields, making such integrations trustworthy.
First of all, there are a lot of Chinese bloggers, and they can vary greatly in the number of followers. This, in turn, affects the specificity and cost of their work.
Chinese blogger categories by number of subscribers
From 1 million
From 50 thousand to 1 million
From 10 thousand to 50 thousand
Up to 10 thousand
Celebrity bloggers are the most popular Chinese influencers. Popular online celebrities are effective KOL marketers in China due to their large and loyal follower base. While they rarely participate in advertising campaigns, their endorsement can have a powerful impact.
Expert bloggers share original content and aim to connect with their followers on a personal level. These Chinese influencers carefully curate their content and prefer to write reviews based on personal experience rather than promoting products that do not align with their style and audience.
Wanghongs, or influencers with large followings, are known for their appearance. They are often related to fashion bloggers supporting beauty and cosmetic suggestions. While the content created by Chinese beauty influencers may not be expert-driven, their advertising value is often more cost-effective than traditional celebrities.
Other Chinese influencers are micro-influencers with smaller followings, known as KOS in China. Their blogs are trusted by their followers for testing and reviewing products. Promoting through KOS is cheaper, allows for the use of multiple bloggers, and their reviews are highly valued by users. For example, there are many beauty bloggers on Little Red Book, where the average cost of promoting a post to 5,000 followers is around 500 yuan, depending on engagement.
Top Chinese influencers differ significantly from other Asian bloggers and Western counterparts. Chinese bloggers have a more sophisticated client management system and consider themselves experts in their field compared to Western opinion leaders. Platforms such as Little Red Book believe that having 5,000 followers is enough to be considered an opinion leader, but WeChat and Weibo focus on higher and more significant numbers.
Before selecting a KOL, you should thoroughly research the platform on which you want to launch your advertising campaign. In China, there are various platforms for working with KOLs, which we review below.
China’s version of Twitter, Weibo is a Chinese microblogging service which is a social network with the ability to share posts and conduct live streams to promote through KOLs.
China's most popular social network offers a wide range of opportunities for e-commerce, advertising and promotion. Having a page on WeChat is important for every brand planning to promote in China.
Little Red Book
Xiaohongshu app is the most popular platform to work with KOL when it comes to promotion among female audiences and in topics such as fashion, cosmetics, travel, etc.
Chinese Tiktok, a popular short video service that allows you to get to the top very quickly due to creative and attractive content when interacting with KOL.
Zhang Mofan MOMO
Zhang Mofan MOMO is a top Chinese beauty blogger who won the Sina Weibo Award in 2017. She creates makeup and personal care videos and has her own cosmetics brands, Mo Amour and MOAMIS.
She has earned over $18 million in online sales and has collaborated with different brands like Yves Saint Laurent.
Papi is a famous Chinese blogger who not only achieved success in video blogging, but also founded the Papitube agency, which helps other bloggers with promotion, equipment and finding advertisers. In 2016, she attracted $2 million investment to develop this business.
With 5.5 million followers on Weibo, Anny Fan is one of China's top influencers. She represents different luxury brands such as Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Prada.
She also advises Western brands on how to enter the highly competitive Chinese market, using her knowledge of e-commerce.
Liu Genghong, or Will Liu, is a Taiwanese musician and actor, who made appearances in several dramas and music albums. Today he is also known as an influential fitness specialist.
A significant part of his daily life is to stream fitness and dance videos. Liu Genghong gained popularity on social media and during the COVID-19 outbreak. Live-streaming training regimens on Xiaohongshu and Douyin with his wife from their home in Shanghai made him an overnight internet sensation.
Gogoboi is one of the most famous celebrity fashion bloggers in China. He reviews various fashion novelties, analyzes celebrity styles and fashion trends, and sometimes even talks about makeup.
In 2017, he opened his own store on Wechat, where he sells carefully selected luxury goods; the name of his store can be translated as “the few favorites”. This illustrates another interesting feature of the Chinese blogger market: the top KOLs often not only promote some goods and services, but also open their own stores to resell things related to the topic of their blog.
Such an endorsement makes a thing much more valuable in the eyes of their followers and many times more expensive.
Li Jiaqi, nicknamed the "Lipstick King" is a top lipstick seller and influencer in China with about 40 million followers on Douyin, where he frequently livestreams his beauty and cosmetic tips.
Li assesses and promotes lipsticks by reviewing and endorsing various lipstick brands, providing information on texture, fragrance, packaging, and wear.
Viya is a popular fashion blogger and a Chinese social media star known for her successful influencer marketing through livestreams on Taobao. She has been dubbed the "queen of livestreaming" for her ability to sell high-priced items on her channel during live streams.
Viya opened her first store at the age of 18, transitioned from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce in 2012, and joined Taobao's livestreaming program in 2016.
Viya is known for her close relationship with her fans, treating them as friends and tailoring her content to their needs is her lifestyle.
Becky Li, a former journalist, is a top Chinese influencer with 3.2 million Weibo, 2 million WeChat, and 40 thousand Instagram followers. As one of the most popular Chinese fashion bloggers, she collaborates with luxury brands such as Dior, Chanel, La Mer, Mini, Tasaki and Guerlain.
She is a talented salesperson who sold 100 Mini Cooper cars in five minutes on WeChat and sold out 1,200 Rebecca Minkoff bags in two days. Becky's fashion brand generated 1 million RMB in seven minutes with its first drop on WeChat.
Tao Liang, better known as Mrbags, is a highly popular Chinese influencer with a huge following. With about 5 million followers on Weibo, over 800 thousand on WeChat, and 47 thousand subscribers on Instagram, Tao Liang has become one of the most sought-after influencers.
Tao is known for specializing in bags, with new releases often selling out in minutes. For example, his limited edition Mini Horizon bag with Givenchy sold out 80 candy pink bags in just 12 minutes.
Tao started his candid blog while studying at Columbia University, and today his Weibo and WeChat have become the go-to shopping guides for Chinese consumers looking for quality handbags.
Zhang Dayi, a former model and fashion student, has become one of China's most popular online influencers. She is the founder of a successful beauty and fashion company, has 20 million followers on social media, and has even been recognized as “China's most beautiful face without makeup”.
In 2014, she launched her own online store, "The Wardrobe I Like," on Taobao. Due to her immense popularity, she achieved 5,000 sales in seconds after presenting new clothes. Zhang was listed as one of the top ten Chinese internet celebrities in 2016.
In 2017, she launched her second online shop, which offers cosmetic products made by her company. Within two hours of landing, her lipsticks had already sold out with a sales volume of 20,000.
Zhang regularly engages with her followers on her site and on Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, where she has seven million followers. She changes outfits several times during her hour-long webcasts, and a single video can be viewed up to nine million times.
Of course, thematic blogs are developed not only by beauty influencers within shopping and things fashion. Food bloggers are also popular in China where food has a specially reverent attitude. The page with the largest number of followers belongs to YOYO, whose blog combines travels and food.
She travels around the world, tastes various dishes, and post reviews sharing her impressions with the followers on the social media.
Ms. Yeah, whose fame has long since spread beyond China, has a food, DIY and hilarious blog.
Her content is videos in which she cooks right in her office using all sorts of reasonable and unreasonable improvised means. Oreo cookie earrings, 4 kinds of noodles and moon cakes, all in the workplace: it is not surprising that such peculiar videos quickly became popular on the Internet.
All in all, Chinese bloggers have become a powerful force in the social media scene, particularly in the areas of fashion, beauty, and entertainment segments. They are known for their unique style and trends, which are followed by millions of people both in China and around the world. Through their posts on social media profiles, Chinese bloggers are creating a new standard for what it means to be an influencer in today's digital age and how to most effectively promote brands on the Chinese market.
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