I'm Fred Raillard, CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer of FF GROUP, a social, content, tech solutions for brands company based in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and New York. In partnership with FF GROUP, BFM Business launches #FredinChina, a social media podcast in "Chine Hebdo", the weekly radio broadcast of Mathieu Jolivet. #FredinChina is essential to know and understand the world's largest economy.
I fell in love with China, and live in Shanghai with my wife and sons since September 2012. With my teams at the FF Shanghai agency we monitor, analyze and decrypt this ultra-connected China with nearly 800 million netizens by sharing what we see, hear and read on Weibo, WeChat, Huaban, Youku. I prepare this column with Jing Qian from FF Shanghai.
Are you physically perfect? Prove it with your iPhone 6
This week's HotTopic is an A4 piece of paper. It all started with a Chinese actress who posted a picture of her holding a piece of paper in the vertical position, hiding her waist. Thereby showing how thin her waist is. Chinese women love to show off a thin waist size, as it is a sign of beauty. This also reminds me of this big movement that happened a few months ago where girls would pose with their arms behind their back, and then move them back again in front of them to show their thin waist. The movement is taking place again, but this time with a piece of paper.
All the Chinese actresses and models started posting pictures holding this vertical piece of paper in front of their stomach. The movement then continued to the West, through Instagram, with a lot of Western models posting pictures of them with this piece of paper hiding their waist.
The comments in the West were really negative, saying that beauty should not be measured in this way, and that it was totally superficial. These comments found their way back to Chinese social media, where Chinese women replied by saying that they accept that it is superficial, but that it is just a game that should not be taken seriously.
Then a new movement appeared, with the hashtag #iPhone6Legs. This began after a woman posted a picture of her legs with an iPhone 6 resting on her two knees, thereby covering them up and showing that she had perfect legs.
100 SUVs sold in 18 seconds: welcome to China
This week's HotBrand is related to Maserati, the Italian luxury car brand. Maserati decided to try and sell their cars on 'Tmall', Alibaba's e-commerce platform. Now, Tmall launched the 'Super Brand Day', of which Maserati is part of, and the car brand has a flagship store on Tmall. Maserati decided to sell 100 'Levante' SUV's - a model that is supposed to compete against the Porsche Cayenne that is really successful in China. The Levante costs about 1 million RMB, which is equivalent to about €130,000.
Only 18 seconds after they opened the sales on the platform, they sold 100 cars. 18 seconds for 100 cars! This was crazy, and spread rapidly on social media. Maserati's CEO was naturally delighted, and said that he would do this operation again, but next time with a bigger stock. This is incredible, as every time we think we have seen everything on e-commerce in China, something else comes along. Nothing can surprise us anymore! Chinese e-commerce just has a way of surprising us each time. If you want to understand modern China, you have to be interested in China's e-commerce.
2016 - 2080: What image our grandchildren will have of us?
This week's HotPost is '2016 - 2080'. This is a very funny post on Sina Weibo. You have to imagine our grandsons in 2080 looking back at our lives (the grandparents). They will try to understand our lives, but it will be a totally different perception to our own, when we look back at the lives of our grandparents. When our generation looks back at our grandparents, we usually find beautiful pictures of them looking very elegant. In 2080, when our grandsons will look back to our lives in 2016, they will find crazy pictures from us at parties and selfies on social media.
It's the same thing for letters, when we look back at the beautiful letters written by our grandparents. The next generation in 2080 will look back at us and simply talk about the kinds of emoticons we used to use on our social media.
It's also the same for treasure boxes. We love to imagine the treasure boxes of our grandparents full of beautiful objects that tell a story of their life. What will be the treasure box for the next generation? People say that it will be our hard drive or iCloud, and that they will try to find our password to gain access to our files in order to understand our life in 2016.