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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An illegal vaccine spreads fear on social media
This week's HotTopic is related to illegal vaccines, which is a very serious topic in China. Everything related to nutrition and health are very sensitive topics.
This time we have a story of a mother and her daughter who have developed a business selling an illegal vaccine for the last 5 years. They reach 18 different regions in China, and have generated 570 million RMB.
The vaccine is actually not illegal, but the process of delivering this vaccine was totally. This vaccine was supposed to be refrigerated, and it was not, so people were scared that either the vaccine had no effect on them, or even worse that they would suffer from side effects.
All this generated a huge debate on social media, with people expressing their fears, and others being more reassuring.
Suddenly, a KOL released an old documentary from 2013 talking about this old vaccine that gave down syndrome to the kids of mother's that had been exposed to the vaccine. This had nothing to do with the subject at hand, but added fuel to the fire of the ongoing debate, and spread even more fear around China. The effect was even more discussions and debates, culminating with the First Minister himself, Li Keqiang making a statement to effectively close the debate, saying that he would be reinforcing the regulations and controls on vaccination all around China from now on.
Tao Bao latest campaign is all about Post-90s
This week's HotBrand is the Taobao ecommerce platform of the Alibaba group. I am slightly embarrassed but also very proud to talk to you about this, because we are (FF Shanghai) the agency behind a huge communication hit for Taobao. They briefed us on launching the first online e-commerce site for Fashion Week.
We came up with this idea of showing 90 people from China, born after the 90's, the Y generation. So we showed a gallery of these 90 people, doing their own thing, with style, attitude, and a bit of irony and arrogance towards society as a whole and the other generations.
The tagline at the end is "Watch Me": meaning that you should watch me and not the other generations, because we are the new generation taking over. This is really important since the Post 90's generation is soon going to take China over. Knowing the role that China will play in the upcoming world, this generation is going to be crucial in this new world.
So it's something that is very emotional and engaging that generated a lot of conversations on social media. In only 3 days on Sina Weibo, there were 320 million views and 65,000 discussions with a lot of user generated content.
Watch the video here
Major innovation in the KOL business model
This week's HotPost is 'Papi Jiang', and is a typical modern Chinese social media story. It's the story of this young influencer called 'Papi Jiang' who is a beautiful and smart 'youtuber'. As you know, YouTube is forbidden in China, so she uploads the videos on a platform called Miaopai. she is a real star since 2016, with a lot of followers. her videos are based on a really smart way of observing people, and articulating the right insights, so that people can relate to what she is talking about.
For example, there is a video that is hilarious, where she points out that people living in Shanghai talk by mixing the Shanghai dialect with Mandarin and English together. Everyone living in Shanghai can obviously relate to this, and love it.
She is the HotPost of the week, because another KOL called Lao Luo literally just bought this girl. Lao Luo is a very famous KOL, with the same name as the CEO of Smartisan. He paid Papi Jiang 12 million RMB (about $1,5 million), to join him in his team. He is going to sell this girl to brands, and has become her agent and strategist.
This is a very new and innovative development that we are seeing in China, where one KOL buys another KOL to sell to brands.
Overall, Papi Jiang has generated over 290 million views from her videos. On average, each one of her videos has generated 7 million views, showing just how talented she is in generating impactful content.