Training Articles

WeChat and WeChat Marketing

Before we talk about WeChat Marketing, let's understand WeChat first.

WeChat, which has more than 800 million monthly active users today, was initially modeled off WhatsApp, but it has since integrated social media with free messaging and calls.

WeChat is WhatsApp + Facebook + Linked-in + SMS + YouTube + Twitter + Instagram + Android Pay + Apple Pay + Uber ++++

WeChat is a NOT another messaging or mobile app. Wechat is a superapp.

WeChat decidedly focused on connectivity, morphing what was once a stand-alone messaging platform into an indispensable mobile portal for making payments, booking doctor appointments, filing police reports, hailing taxis, accessing banking services, video conferencing, playing games and much more.

Take mobile payment as an example. In 2013, WeChat debuted its first payment system. Users can send each other money, pay utility bills and even invest in a wealth fund through the app.

Over the past years, Tencent convinced retailers such as McDonald's, 7-Eleven and Uniqlo to accept WeChat Pay.

But the reason why big banks, airlines, hotels and restaurant chains have no issues in signing up for WeChat is that the company does not store end-user data.

All WeChat did was open up its platform to an application programming interface, or API. Its proposition is simple - "Your customer's data stays with you. We are only interested in providing the user interface."

It makes sense. The last thing WeChat wants is to deal with local governments, who will keep knocking on its door, demanding access to user data.

This article is adapted from an article written by Howard Yu, a professor of strategic management and innovation at the IMD business school. The original article was published in The Business Times Singapore on 10 Feb 2017

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