It began innocently enough. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun was rumored to have been asked for advice on how to sell a certain underwear online in China.
By the time news of the approach broke, the product had created enough buzz to smooth the entry of the woman behind it — Japanese adult video idol Sora Aoi.
Not that she needed any introduction.
Aoi has a big following in the mainland by virtue of her transgenerational appeal as her country’s most famous nude model and adult video actress.
Her foray into the underwear business — lingerie to be precise — is a way to monetize her Chinese fan base.
Her followers did not disappoint.
On 28 May, within five hours and 28 minutes of her Spakeys G-Self silk bra being launched on Weibo, 528 sets sold out. That’s an impressive pace given the product is priced at a not-so-modest 1,288 yuan (US$207).
Then she gave away another 1,000 sets for her fans to try on, with help from local celebrities to maximize the, well, exposure.
Underwear is a clever choice for the enterprising Aoi, who remains popular in China despite having retired from making adult videos.
Proof: within six hours of opening her Weibo account, she gained 400,000 followers. Now she has more than 14.9 million fans.
– Contact the writer at [email protected]