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.
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Massive celebration for Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar
The HotTopic of the week is Leonardo DiCaprio and the Academy Awards ceremony. So after 22 years he got an Oscar, and according to the Baidu index, this is the best score ever for the Oscars ceremony. There are a few reasons for that. First of all, there are not many Hollywood actors that are super famous in China because Chinese and Asian films are more popular in China compared to western films. Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the few really famous actors all over China, and people just love him. He is a source of inspiration to Chinese people, and on the Internet you can see tons and tons of memes with people playing around with Photoshop, using Leonardo DiCaprio's silhouette, twisting the story and meaning in order to communicate things through these memes. Secondly, Chinese women also love him as he used to portray a polite and good boy image when he was younger, and now that he is older, a bit fatter and funnier, he became what they call an 'uncle' here. They love the fact that he changed from this nice adorable boy to an 'uncle'. There is a lot of affection for him and it was funny to see that.
Moreover, any excuse to do business in China is good. You have these girls in China called 'dai gou', who go overseas to buy luxury products that are cheaper than in China, and who sell them for a higher price when they return. They are personal shoppers in China because they have access to all these products abroad. This time, the dai gou made a special promotion to celebrate Leonardo DiCaprio's win. This had no link but the promotion really happened, and the whole subject got 2.5 billion media impressions in China.
Harper's Bazaar makes a big hit with its "Boys Love" new cover
No brand really stood out this week, so we had to make a difficult choice. So we chose Harper's Bazaar, a fashion magazine.
As you know, nowadays all the fashion magazines have to re-invent their business models and have to work extremely hard on getting the attention they need and making the best possible use of advertising to get noticed and stay relevant.
Bazaar invited 2 very famous male actors, Hu Ge and Huo Jianhua to be together on the cover as well as an editorial in the magazine shot by a famous Chinese photographer, Chen Man. It was a huge success, based on this trend of having famous people together in a cool and intimate moment. It's interesting, as Chinese women loved this story about men. It's a women's magazine but it turned out to be a great idea to show men on the cover instead of women, and confirmed the mega trend in China of showing beautiful men together. Chinese women just loved it. On the first day, Bazaar sold 50,000 magazines, later a second market of second-hand magazines appeared as well. People wanted to own the magazine, and were prepared to spend 20 to 30 times the price on social networks to get their hands on it. Overall it was a resounding success, getting 380 million media impressions.
New content regulations
The HotPost of the week is related to new content regulations in China. It's not the first time that we mention this office that is supposed to control the diffusion of information globally, on both TV and now more and more on video platforms on the Internet. We have already talked about this office a couple of times on #FredinChina, and this time they have posted a new regulation explaining taboo subjects that are forbidden on TV and in online content. Homosexuality is now a taboo and a forbidden subject. Having sexual relations outside of marriage is another taboo. Having a one-night stand is also disapproved as well as teen romance. Surprisingly, ghost stories are also deemed as taboo now.
So just in the first day, this post got 147 thousand retweets on Sina Weibo with a lot of comments and reactions from young people who saw it as China going backwards. They asked if people should now just look at really positive news on CCTV (the main TV channel). There were also questions about the logical reasoning behind this. If homosexuality is now a taboo, will Beijing one day forbid Apple from being in China as the CEO is homosexual?
Last week there was another regulation concerning the Chinese Internet, forbidding foreign companies from posting content on Chinese social media. In short, Beijing is getting more and more controlling over anything and everything that is broadcasted in China online and offline, on the Internet and on TV.