Just In Time: Kim Kardashian Enters the Chinese Influencer Scene
Wed, April 21, 2021

Just In Time: Kim Kardashian Enters the Chinese Influencer Scene

Kim Kardashian and her more Western values entering the Chinese influencer scene can truly seem like a surprise to many. / Photo by: buzzfuss via 123rf

 

Kim Kardashian is continuing on her path as one of the most recognizable people in Hollywood, no matter that her beginnings were from a reality TV show. Over the years, she has managed to grow and rebrand herself as not only the proud matriarch of her family but also the businesswoman many women aspire to be. 

She’s still taking the world by storm, launching her make-up line and continuing on that road in the foreseeable future. What came as a surprise, however, is her recent entry into the Chinese influencer scene, which she came into just in time for China’s biggest sale: Singles Day. 

Entering the Scene

Because they’re known for shunning and shaming things that are deemed inappropriate for Chinese audiences, Kim Kardashian and her more Western values entering the Chinese influencer scene can truly seem like a surprise to many. It’s not impossible, especially since the current market of China is in the middle of the Singles Day sale. 

The Singles Day sale is a big sale held every 11.11 or November 11, and Kim’s entry into the scene was helped along by another Chinese influencer, whose affluence can be considered equal to Kim’s. According to Straits Times, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper in Singapore, the influencer, named Viya, was the one who helped get Kim acquainted with the Chinese public. 

With her channels on Taobao, where social media and commerce merge, Viya is the perfect brand ambassador. She’s so good that almost every item she suggests--make-up, purses, apparel, and Chinese snacks of every kind--is bought by her many followers. 

Just last month, she sold $49.7 million of goods in under 24 hours. This is because the way Chinese social media and e-commerce is shaped is very different from the rest of the world’s. China has managed to merge e-payments, live streaming, and other online media. 

Viya’s integration of one Kim Kardashian into the mix--and effortlessly doing so--just goes to show that while the government might not approve of Kim Kardashian and the freeing way in which she presents herself, those with the money and the power and the affluence still want to add Kim in this very active market. 

Perfect Timing

It should be noted that Kim might just be entering the scene because it is a perfect opportunity. There is money to be had every time there is a sale, and this time around, she’ll be really lucky. What’s of equal importance, too, are the geopolitics of this big marketing move: what about America and China? 

According to the Los Angeles Times, this is actually a very impactful question. It had many answers to it and many different explanations, but what stands out are the words of the citizens themselves. Asked if they thought their US brand consumption would be affected by the trade war, they really thought it would, but even then, 78 percent of them said they would gladly abandon US brands if only it would mean that they could support their country’s standing in the trade war. 

However, Shaun Rein, a business analyst and the founder of the China Market Research Group, found that: 

“Typically, they will say something patriotic or nationalistic. But when it comes to actually buying something, they don’t care about that so much. They care more about quality, price, and value.”

It doesn’t mean that China isn’t doing anything it can to turn the effects of the trade war around, of course, as the Los Angeles Times adds that the Chinese government, after having seen the promise of the influencer economy, plans to hire and train 2,000 influencers in a “Global Influencer Ecosystem” which aims to “sell international goods to Chinese consumers.” 

 

Kim’s products, particularly her KKW fragrance line, will be up on sale in Tmall, an online shopping platform owned by Alibaba. / Photo by: Piotr Trojanowski via 123rf

 

Additional Western Personalities for 11.11 Sale

Kim’s products, particularly her KKW fragrance line, will be up on sale in Tmall, an online shopping platform owned by Alibaba, which also owns Taobao and Alipay. Viya’s job had been to induct Kim in the market via a live stream she did last Thursday where she talked to Kim about her KKW fragrance line. 

But aside from Kim, other Western artists and personalities like Rihanna and Taylor Swift are also venturing into the market. Rihanna will be marketing Fenty Beauty on Tmall Global and Taylor Swift is set to perform at the countdown gala for Singles Day. 

Added Quartz, a business news website, Swift being chosen to headline the countdown is not surprising considering her latest album, “Lover,” did exceedingly well in China than it did in the US. 

So far, Swift seems like she stands to gain a lot of money from her performance, too, considering the first 20 minutes of the sale already raked in $8.7 billion. Last year, the sales were at $30 billion, and brands are waiting to see if this year’s sales can surpass that, just as the 2018 sales surpassed 2017’s $25 billion.