Sam Flemming

Name: Sam Flemming
Title: CEO and Founder
Company: CIC
Years in China: 18
I consider myself to be a digital native because:
I was one of the first few hundred thousand people online in China in 1996. I've been watching/participating in the Chinese internet space ever since.
My career highlights:
Participated in the launch of the first online payment system in China in 1998, Chinapay.com, later acquired by China Union Pay. Founded CIC, the first and leading social listening and business intelligence firm in China and APAC in 2004. CIC was acquired by WPP in 2012.
Professional mission:
Turn the chatter on social media into business intelligence that informs and inspires business decisions.
The best thing about my job is:
Having a front-row centre seat via social media to see on a real-time basis how China is changing.
Personal mantra:
Follow your passion: happiness and most probably money will follow.
My proudest achievement is:
Careerwise, CIC. Lifewise, my son and family.
The secret to my success is:
Hiring people who are smarter than me.
The trends I'm watching in China are:
The further fragmentation of Chinese social media with mobile vertical communities.
The most significant development in China's digital scene is:
Mobile payment + mobile social. There is no need for the online/offline distinction anymore.
What technology do you consider most important and why?
The internet in general, for obvious reasons.
My favourite digital campaign is:
Lancome Rosebeauty community.
Challenges I'm seeking to overcome this year:
Continual adjustment to the unique, and increasingly fragmented and dynamic social-media landscape.