Western luxury brands entering risky pact with China’s influencers

French cosmetics giant L’Oréal has been going through a massive retail row in China after two leading social-media influencers sold large quantities of the company’s beauty face masks to consumers while inaccurately claiming it was the cheapest deal available anywhere.

Influencers Austin Li Jiaqi and Wei Ya regularly reach tens of millions of shoppers on their two e-commerce livestreams, and the November 11 “Singles Day” festival has become one of their most eagerly anticipated broadcasts.

This year, among the many products they were each selling on that evening was the supposedly special offer of batches of 50 L’Oréal masks for 429 yuan (US$67). But it emerged shortly after that the same deal was available direct from L’Oréal for 258 yuan.

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