Korean retailers are hoping to tempt popular Chinese bloggers to write positive reviews of their product offer with a series of sponsored visits, according to a report published by Korea JoongAng Daily.

Aekyung hosted a group of China’s 10 most prominent bloggers at the start of May, inviting them to test out the group’s cosmetic offer, as well as covering their expenses for the duration of the three-day trip.

“The number of the combined followers of the 10 bloggers is five million,” Kang Young-bok, Head of Marketing at Aekyung told Korea JoongAng Daily. “And about 150 million people online browse 10 communities frequented by the bloggers.”

Department stores Shingsegae and Lotte are also in on the act, with the latter inviting a select group of Chinese bloggers every year to shop at the store. “Word-of-mouth marketing works well with Chinese consumers,” a spokesperson for the retailer told Korea JoongAng Daily. “A blogger who was invited last October uploaded a post about the visit to Lotte Department Store in Sogong-dong, and it attracted over three million views. The exposure rate of the bloggers’ posts is five times as much as that of other advertising methods.”

Indeed, the Chinese blogosphere has become big business, with agencies springing up to represent the new ‘stars of the screen’. LG Household & Health Care signed a deal with intermediary 2AB, garnering 100 million views from a single review of its O HUI beauty brand posted by one of the country’s most popular bloggers.