"What matters is people understand California is the most powerful state in the world"

I received this sms, from a very senior executive of an major MNC (i.e. extremely unexpected)
  • Forwarded to me from a friend, thanks for your attention.
  • "May 8-24, exactly 3 months before the Olympic. Everybody boycott Careefour. Reason: major shareholder of Carrefour donated huge sum to Dalai Lama. In France the T-I supporters are plentiful, even the French President vowed to boycott the Olympic as a result. The duration of the boycott is the same as the duration of the Olympic, 17 days long. Let them see the power of Chinese and Chinese network [internet and sms, I suppose].
  • Please forward
  • Chinese version can now be found in many internet sites (e.g.) 5月8日-24日,正好是北京奥运会的三个月之前。所有人都不要去家乐福购物,理由是家乐福的大股东捐巨资给达赖,法国支持藏独者甚众,甚至法国总统也因此而声言抵制北京奥运会。那们现在就抵制一下家乐福,为期与北京奥运会同长,前后17天。让他们看看中国人和中国网络的力量。请转发给你所有的手机、MSN等的联络人,并且让他们的家人一起参与。让家乐福门可罗雀17天!

Well, I do not know how true the accusation on "Carrefour's major shareholder(s)" is. So I googled to find this article (which did not help)

While I do not know whether Carrefour is 'guilty' as alleged, I am impressed by how thoughtful the boycott has been planned

  • It only ask for a 17 day boycott, instead of an all out boycott which is not practical
  • It stated its objective very clearly, "to show the power of the 'network' "
  • The start date if May 8th, allowing for sufficient time of networking

Whatever the result is, I bet Carrefour would not release its sales figure. So it may be a futile effort to show the 'power of the network' or 'power of the chinese economic influence', well, unless someone is doing "exit poll" at the doors of the carrefour, to compare the sales (or just count the number of visitors) at its doors.

The power of the network, as we all know, is a double-edge sword. (c.f. PX incidence)

Since it demonstrates the people's power, be it justifiable or not for this particular incidence, I will like to see the results in some quantified form.


This is probably the best analogy (or, Shanghai's response) to the San Francisco gentleman who proclaimed "It doesn't matter where Tibet is, what matters is what is going on there. What matters is people understands California is the most powerful state in the world." (via ESWN)

It is extremely unclear whether he knows " what is going on there", not to say understands. But it doesn't really matter. The more important issue seems to be what he stated in the next second. The same goes for the Chinese people who vowed to join the boycott. My hypothesis (from googling the internet forum) is that it seems to be that they first idenitifed Carrefour as a feasible target, before the donation allegation surfaced.


momo said...

Carrefour is a public listed body, i believe. So it is obliged to release its figures?
Also, the claim about the donation can be verified, if so.
True or not, that point is moot. It’s a dirty war started from the other side, and carrefour got in the way (just like that wheelchair girl. Sorry, nothing personal. It’s business, right?)
France led the pack attack, so has to receive the symbolic counter-attack.
The timing is to alert not just the shoppers, but also suppliers to minimise damage to them, i think. Carrefour is targeted for its wide reach. At the higher end, names like LVMH and Loreal may also feel the heat.
Both are listed, and in the portfolios of fund managers such as Fidelity. Nothing hurts more than your pension fund shrinking.
The better way to hurt these brands though such as Chanel, Cartier, Montblanc, Chloe and Hermes is to deliberately buy FAKE. The value of these products are merely perceived, not intrinsic.
They sought to damage China’s image with the protests. The way to hit back is to ruin the prestige of their luxury industry.
This will be more permanent than a torch relay.
Nothing will demean their empty status more than thousands of ppl using the imitations, with pride.
Why use products made by a country that says you are not as good as them?

Sun Bin said...

I tend to think that Carrefour is rather innocent and the accusation is without base.

in any case, i would rather see luxury brands under LVMH be punished :) -- not just Vuitton, all those Moet Henessy brandy and champagne, which are really overpriced.

草示儿 said...

It's reported by Southern Metropolis Daily today that LV spokesperson said that the netizens couldn't afford their products anyway, so they really don't care about the boycott.

momo said...

The point is not whether netizens can afford the ``luxury'' brands or not.
The point is whether netizens can influence the customers of these brands to stop buying. Given the mood of the general public, chances are probably high that they can.
The fact that China's government has allowed the debate to go on, is indicative that the idea has unofficial support.
For myself, I support a boycott, not for retribution's sake, but to encourage a change in mindset.
The value of such brands is based on overall Brand France: as a civilisation of high arts, culture and lifestyle.
With that romantic notion tarnished by the disgraceful Paris torch relay, that value is decimated.
Chinese people need to realise they no longer are buying into a higher culture or superior lifestyle with a branded bag - especially when many are now made in mainland. (With explosive global demand, how many artisan hands are left in Europe to cope?)
It's a turning point for how Chinese people perceive themselves, and the West.
I would say when all blows over, but with discrimination. I love my LV Neverfull, bcos I like the design, the practicality and the price. Not bcos it's French.

momo said...

Correction: when all blows over, buy with discrimination.