I'm Fred Raillard, CEO, Co-founder and Creative Chief Officer of FRED & FARID, a social, content, tech solutions for brands company based in Paris, Shanghai, Beijing and New York. In partnership with FRED & FARID, 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 FRED & FARID 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 FRED & FARID Shanghai.
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Health scandal caused by the murder of a dentist in China
The HotTopic of the week is a very dramatic one. It's the murder of a doctor. He was stabbed. This guy was a dentist, a professor, a highly respected physician and professor, here in China. He was loved by his community. The story behind the murder is crazy, he took care of someone's teeth for twenty years and it so happened that the person's teeth started to became yellow. And for that, the person followed the dentist during the night, and stabbed him more than 30 times.
It became super viral because there was a picture that leaked from the hospital where we could see all of the doctors working in the hospital, and a whole crowd around the bed trying to save the life of this poor man. It underlines a serious tension between doctors/hospitals and on the other side the Chinese patients. There are so many scandals related to health. When something like this happens, journalists and the whole system tend to blame the doctors and the hospitals. But this time, there was no possible medical blame. This dentist was a super bright, respected person. And it was in no way his fault that his patient's teeth became yellow.
It was very surprising to see this story surface on the web because usually, the scandals around medical topics are focused on the medical groups. It shook the whole China and generate a lot of online conversations making it the HotTopic of the week.
Google Tilt Brush: from sci-fi to reality
The HotBrand of the week is Google again with the Tilt Brush. Virtual reality is one of the hottest subject at the moment on social media, but also in the tech world and everyone wants to play a part in this big trend. Brands are focusing on how to enter this viral world. Google released this software tilt brush that allows you to draw around yourself.
Linked to the virtual reality glasses you enter a kind of room, a universe, and you can easily draw a sculpture, and more importantly in a 3D space, meaning you can draw all around you, 360°. It's truly impressive because you can build a universe and you're the center of this universe. You should really see the videos by searching Google Tilt Brush, the demonstration is incredible. This isn't sci-fi, it's reality. The software will eventually be sold to the public. Google went super viral with this demonstration: everyone looked it up and then kept comparing Baidu and Google.
Baidu recently went through a huge scandal and is considered in China as an evil company. And Google used to have a tagline which was « Don't be evil ». Both entered the digital world and became digital giants. They entered by the same door, the search engine. And of course every time something good happened for Google or bad for Baidu, Chinese people compared the two companies. A lot of people blame Baidu for not being Google. They're hoping that at some point the Chinese government will allow Google to enter the country. They will have the choice between Baidu and Google as their search engines.
Social media pressure that pushes people to the extreme
The HotPost of the week is totally stupid. It's the « The corn drill » or « drill corn ». Basically, it's a young woman, who made a video of herself, holding in her hands a drill. But on the drill, she put a corn. So when she pressed the button, she could supposably eat the corn much faster then without the drill. So on the video, she presses the button, we see the drill turning, and we see her face getting closer and closer to the drill, but then something terrible happens. Her hair gets stuck in the drill and is ripped clear off her head. It's super violent. We can see a hole on her head, where she is now bold.
A shocking, viral video, that shows the new digital world we are living in: people are ready to do anything, to get attention and more followers, on livestream platforms, etc. It's not only in China, but in the whole world. We can see this phenomenon growing in social media. The pressure of being seen, you know, that pushes people to the extreme.