Chinese netizens use AI to recreate viral ‘porcelain filter’ face

    Fueled by young Chinese consumers’ desire to reconnect with their heritage, the ‘porcelain figure’ filter is the latest AI trend to take off online.
    Remini's AI ‘porcelain filter’ filter is making waves across China. Image: Xiaohongshu

    What happened

    A new filter depicting individuals as porcelain figures has taken off online over the past month, with netizens using AI photo editing app Remini to reimagine themselves as the doll-like effigies.

    Users can run an ordinary selfie through the software to receive the AI-rendered version, which depicts them donning traditional Chinese dress with pale “porcelain glassy skin” and delicate blush makeup, all set against elaborate scenic backdrops.

    Marrying heritage with the current zeitgeist, the sensation is proliferating across the mainland’s social media. On Xiaohongshu, a dedicated hashtag (#jade滤镜) has amassed over 81,000 views thus far.

    Some users are also moving up the ranks by offering the trend as a service, allowing individuals to bypass the app’s usual price tag of 68 RMB (approx. $9.42) per week (Remini offers a one-week free trial). Meanwhile, others have taken it upon themselves to offer tips on how to optimize the app to get the best results.

    China’s netizens are going crazy over a new app which uses AI to transform images into porcelain dolls. Image: Xiaohongshu
    China’s netizens are going crazy over a new app which uses AI to transform images into porcelain dolls. Image: Xiaohongshu

    The Jing Take

    The ubiquity of AI-powered applications in China, fueled by aggressive government investment and rapid development, is disrupting the country’s social media terrain.

    Over the past year, Xiaohongshu in particular has seen an uptick in users sharing AI-generated content, following the popularization of machine-learning applications like Remini and Replicate.

    AI platform Replicate entered China’s mainstream consciousness in April, after netizens turned to the app to recreate themselves as Playstation 2-inspired NPCs. The nostalgia-infused aesthetic racked up over 3.5 million posts on Xiaohongshu.

    View post on Instagram

    Another filter transforming users into clay-like figurines, inspired by the art of claymation, also went viral on Xiaohongshu earlier this month, with views under the “clay filter” hashtag (#粘土滤镜) rocketing to 32.46 million views.

    The Remini app surpassed Douyin (China’s TikTok) on the free app download ranking for iOS systems in China during the week of May 6, coming first on the list and recording over 1.7 million downloads on iOS.

    As for the “porcelain figure” trend, the sensation coincides with the “glass skin” aesthetic currently making waves across the globe. Developed by celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath for Maison Margiela’s epoch-making Artisanal show, the look has racked up millions of views online following its runway debut in February.

    The AI trend arrives in tandem with the growing Guochao movement among China’s Gen Zs. Image: Xiaohongshu
    The AI trend arrives in tandem with the growing Guochao movement among China’s Gen Zs. Image: Xiaohongshu

    Locally, the phenomenon arrives in tandem with the mainland’s growing guochao movement, which invites young citizens to recontextualize traditional Chinese motifs through contemporary design.

    As local Gen Zers seek to reconnect with their heritage, businesses are cashing in.

    The mainland’s Hanfu market, for instance, is expected to top $2.82 billion (19.11 billion RMB) by 2025, thanks to the surge in interest. Apps like Remini are deepening that sense of cultural pride, enabling netizens to celebrate China’s historical styles online.

    Then there’s the filter’s link to traditional Chinese beauty standards, which idealize the Tang Dynasty’s porcelain-like complexion, characterized by smooth, light, and almost-synthetically clear skin. In an era when poreless “glass skin” and flawless face filters are widely coveted, AI is making it easier for audiences to embody these traits without the physical modification.

    Alongside socio-cultural influences, AI-infused trends offer netizens a fun conduit to play with their online personas — and digital natives are lapping it up.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

    • Remini’s new AI filter, turning selfies into porcelain figures, has gone viral on Chinese social media, with over 81,000 views on Xiaohongshu.
    • AI apps like Remini and Replicate are disrupting China’s online landscape, with Remini surpassing Douyin in iOS downloads in early May.
    • Brands can align with the porcelain filter to embrace the guochao movement, revitalizing traditional Chinese motifs and increasing Gen Z's interest in cultural heritage.
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