Launched in 2011 by Tencent Holding Limited, WeChat is the most used social media in China. With 980 million users, WeChat is more than just a social media channel. The app includes a palette of services from calls to e-wallet, enabling users to perform wide range of activities. Thus, for a Business to adopt WeChat means to open a royal door into the life of its target consumers.
WeChat, an Instant Success
First, we must highlight the active censorship applied on western social by the Chinese Government. Therefore, users must use VPN to have access to Facebook, Twitter Instagram or other social media. This hinderance created the need for “Republic of China friendly” Social Media. Chinese company Tencent decided to tend to this need by first creating QQ, a messenger app acclaimed by the public. In 2011, in less than a year after launching WeChat, Tencent counted over 100 million subscribers to their new app.
WeChat was originally used as a messenger, like WhatsApp, but over time, Tencent added more communication options, like calls and video or even geo-localisation. To appeal to younger audience, WeChat has a “Drift Bottle” option: random users are able to contact each other by shaking their phones.
WeChat grew to become more of an assistant to the users: they can use the interface to buy cinema tickets, order a cab and so on.
Evolving Functionalities becoming more handy
A Few months ago WeChat introduced their e-wallet option. Like apple pay, the app can be used as a credit card thanks to custom QR code. WeChat users can now order online, shop for food or casual items from their phone. It is also possible to “tip” aka sending certain amount of money to their contact, in a PayPal fashion, without having to go through the Bank. Although this last option is only available while having a Chinese bank account, Tencent plans to add a similar function for VISA and Mastercard holders.
“Can’t leave without my WeChat”
Tencent knows no limit. As the app is constantly growing, the company want to add a national ID function on WeChat. The aim is to have the app testify of one’s identity in any situations.
A first experience will be led in Guangdong for public services and local businesses. In the future, it will become a necessity to possess a WeChat account to have a comfortable time in China.
WeChat is becoming a giant in social media, due to its wide range of services becoming essentials to its users. Understanding it’s mechanism can play a crucial role for a Business: It is currently used by over half of the Republic of China, Taiwan and other Asian countries, thus giving access to a wide target audience.
You wish to set foot onto Chinese market and start a WeChat? Contact us and let us know about your project!