Can the ‘Lipstick King’ Help Tencent Huiju Luxury Reach an Audience?

What Happened: Tencent Huiju Luxury (previously known as Famous Products), is the luxury section of the centralized e-commerce marketplace Tencent Huiju, which houses brands’ WeChat Mini Program in one place. It offers WeChat users a one-stop shopping solution with over 12 categories of products and services, while also directing traffic to the brand’s private domains. 

Still relatively niche, the centralized e-commerce marketplace within WeChat has tapped the livestreaming sensation, Austin Li, aka, China’s “Lipstick King,” to help increase the marketplace’s exposure. Li, along with seven international luxury brands — Chopard, Dunhill, Fendi, Kenzo, Loro Piana, Ferragamo, and Valentino — will co-launch the applet’s “Luxury Trends Renewal Day” (名品趋势换新日) campaign. Each day, from April 8-14, Tencent Huiju Luxury’s landing page will be taken over by one of the aforementioned brands and will feature a daily video by the “Lipstick King,” showcasing his product picks for spring-summer — in the hopes of inspiring the platform’s users to make a purchase. 

The Jing Take: Apparently, the tech giant didn’t create Tencent Huiju Luxury to directly compete with Tmall and Instead, the luxury section of the applet simply offers a centralized site where consumers can find the latest products from the high-end maisons and get inspired. When ready to make a purchase, the users are then directed to the brand’s private domain — its WeChat Mini Program — to finalize their purchase.  

While still in the early stages of development, Tencent Huiju Luxury continues to be tweaked and tightened. Meanwhile, its content-driven approach, emphasizing user experience and brand storytelling to redefine the online shopping experience, differs from existing competitors Tmall and, which is the point — no one needs another identical marketplace in an already over saturated market. 

The platform also presents an opening for Tencent to deepen its relationship with global luxury brands, as the leading e-commerce players are rushing to consolidate their position in the premium landscape. Yet, Tencent Huiju Luxury is currently facing a bigger challenge. Even though WeChat has nearly 1.3 billion monthly active users, it has yet to build greater awareness in the WeChat ecosystem. Given this, will Austin Li’s impressive reach (he currently has over 30 million followers on Weibo), make a difference for the upstart marketplace? Or, perhaps, the current COVID-19 wave sweeping through the mainland will lend a hand, as consumers remain locked down and in need of a new resource to explore and spend on. Time will tell. 

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.