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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Woman assault in a 3 star hotel outrages Chinese social networks
This week's HotTopic is about a woman who got assaulted in a 3 star Beijing hotel. This woman was followed by a strange man who attacked her by grabbing her hair and tried to pull her towards the stairs. We don't really know what his motivations were, if he wanted to beat, rape, kidnap or rob her.
The most shocking fact in this story is that you can see on the hotel video footage, that there was a person working in the hotel who saw the whole scene taking place without reacting or helping her. In fact, another female hotel guest finally intervened and managed to make the guy go away. The shocking thing is that neither the hotel nor the police actually made an investigation into this.
When the victim returned home, she managed to get the CCTV pictures and video from the scene, and posted them on Sina Weibo, explaining the whole story. This turned out to be a story that shocked the whole of China. It was supposed to be just a HotPost, but it made 954 thousand retweets on Weibo, which is pretty amazing, and generated 2 billion media impressions. There were a lot of comments about what happened, why it happened, and that we need to protect our women better.
Moreover, everyone was simply shocked that the male hotel employee didn't even react or try to help the woman. Unfortunately, this is something that happens pretty often in Chinese society - when someone is in danger, the people around don't even dare to react and get involved.
The upside of this story is that the current young generation in China want to change this type of behaviour in Chinese society.
A skincare brand supports stigmatized unmarried women in their thirties
This week's HotBrand is SK-II, a skincare brand from Japan who have made a really successful campaign. The campaign is based on a strong Chinese insight about the shèng nü. This name relates to all the unmarried women in China who are in their thirties. In Chinese society, women who remain unmarried by the time they hit thirty are under a lot of pressure from their entire family.
Because of this SK-II released a touching video. In the first chapter you hear examples of sentences that these women are subjected to all day long. For example, "I will stay alive until your marriage", "don't be so irresponsible", "please think about your mother", etc.
In the second chapter, we see these women talking about how they feel and how they want to live.
The last part of the video takes place in an awkward place. All around China, you have these famous 'marriage markets', where parents, grandparents and uncles go to try and find the perfect match for their children. This is very old fashioned but still takes place in China.
In this chapter, you see posters of these women who refuse to obey to this way of life. The posters are in the form of galleries of these 30-year-old women with sentences like, "I don't want to marry someone I don't love", "I hope my parents can understand".
This part is very emotional because we see all the parents' reactions through hidden cameras, when they are confronted with these posters.
The slogan at the end of this touching video is "Change destiny, SK-II". The video of this really successful campaign has already generated 1 million one hundred and forty thousand views. So congratulations to SK-II.
A bridesmaid abuse
This week's HotPost is related to women in China. This time it's a story about a bridesmaid at a celebrity wedding. A famous actor invited other celebrities to his wedding, and at some point we see 3 bridesmaids who are facing the 3 best men.
You can see a kind of battle going on. Then, the 3 guys grab one of the bridesmaids, and try to throw her into the swimming pool. Now the girl really does not want to be thrown in, so she is trying to escape, yelling at the 3 guys. However, no one around her reacts until another woman finally reacts. In the end after a lot of yelling and struggling, she does not get thrown into the pool, and the wedding goes on.
But then someone posted the video on social media in the wrong week, as the subject of women was very sensitive. A lot of people reacted to the video, shocked by the behaviour of the guys. Moreover, people were shocked that nobody at the wedding reacted earlier to help the poor girl, and why in the end another woman finally dares to help?
There are a lot of similar wedding stories in China, about drunken and euphoric best men literally sexually abusing bridesmaids. This video brought back all these old stories on the web, but the positive side of all this is that the young generation wants to change this type of behaviour, and really wants to help protect all women in China.