Download links for the Chinese social media and e-commerce platform Xiaohongshu have been removed from a range of Android app stores, with falsified user comments being a potential, though not verified, cause.
Chinese state media outlet, the Global Times reported that Xiaohongshu's app couldn't be downloaded on major Android app stores from Huawei, Oppo, Meizu, and Yignyaobao (myapp). However, the app could still be found on Apple's app store.
Global Times also stated a potential reason for the removal from app stores was the alleged falsification of "users' notes" on the app, in order to hike product sales.
No details have been given of when the app will be made available again on Android app stores. Xiaohongshu said it had learned about the situation, and is communicating with relevant departments to resolve the problem.
Founded in 2013, with over 250 million registered users and 85 million active monthly users, Xiaohongshu is one of the most popular social media platforms in China, especially among younger generations. It allows users to post reviews of products and content from other users, with a focus placed on product photos and shopping experiences. Users are also able to buy products directly from the platform.
This is not the first time Xiaohongshu has been involved in controversy this year. Notably, in April the platform drew heat for posting 95,000 items of internet marketing information related to cigarettes, an act in breach of Chinese consumer laws.