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.
Click here to listen to all the podcasts.
Are you physically perfect? Prove it with your
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
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
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
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