Olivia Parker
Mar 27, 2019

Foreign vs local KOLs: who wields more power in China?

We explore the work of some successful non-Chinese influencers working in China and ask whether they command more or less influence than their local counterparts—and whether that's changing.

L-R: Brad Pitt in a 2013 ad for Cadillac in China; the Chinese actress and singer Xie Na; Argentinian Brian O'Shea, an influencer in China; Mr.Bags the Chinese fashion blogger

Five years ago, the Argentina-born aspiring actor Brian O’Shea was working and studying in Sydney. He lived next to Chinatown and, crossing the district every day on his way to work, began to get intrigued about the source of the many different cooking smells wafting about the streets. They led him, says the 25-year-old, who is now a key opinion leader KOL of some renown in China, into “a completely different world”.

O’Shea, who hosts...

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