What is WeChat and why you should market on it?

WeChat — the Chinese Facebook

Ok Guys, before we delve deep­er into the mar­ket­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties on WeChat, let’s first exam­ine the facts.

The App was launched in 2011 by the Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ca­tions provider Ten­cent. The orig­i­nal ver­sion of WeChat is called Weix­in. In the begin­ning, it was ini­tial­ly noth­ing more than an instant mes­sag­ing app (com­pa­ra­ble to What­sApp). But the num­ber of users increased rapid­ly and Ten­cent inte­grat­ed more and more new func­tions into the social media app. Today WeChat is the win­dow to the world for most Chi­nese con­sumers. There is no rea­son to ever close the app again. In Chi­na, you can order food, call taxis, pay your elec­tric­i­ty bill or book an inter­na­tion­al flight via the App.

WeChat is still called Weix­in in Chi­na. WeChat is the name of the inter­na­tion­al ver­sion. WeChat runs on dif­fer­ent servers than Weix­in and has part­ly dif­fer­ent func­tions than the orig­i­nal. In this way, Ten­cent retains con­trol over who can enter the Chi­nese mar­ket and what con­tent is dis­trib­uted in the Chi­nese network.

Today, WeChat is, with­out doubt, the largest social media plat­form in Chi­na. Due to its many pos­si­bil­i­ties and func­tions, WeChat is much more than that. I would like to call it an “oper­at­ing sys­tem”. In July 2019, WeChat had 1.15 bil­lion users. This makes it the third-largest mes­sen­ger ser­vice behind What­sApp and Face­book Mes­sen­ger. The app has per­me­at­ed the every­day lives of Chi­nese users. Almost 80% of users (78%) spend more than 90 min­utes a day on WeChat. Besides, WeChat is also used for work by 90% of users.


Why should you market on WeChat?

WeChat is the largest mar­ket­ing plat­form in Chi­na. Con­sumers spend sev­er­al hours a day on the app. They pur­chase desir­able prod­ucts and ser­vices, fol­low influ­encers, com­mu­ni­cate with their friends and acquain­tances, play games, read news and donate to char­i­ty. With WeChat, Ten­cent has cre­at­ed an app that makes almost all oth­er apps on the mar­ket obso­lete. The aver­age dai­ly user spends up to 2 hours a day with­in the WeChat app.

More over, WeChat replaces by its func­tion WeChat Pay, the cash. I know it sounds hard for us to imag­ine a soci­ety with­out cash. But this is exact­ly what is hap­pen­ing in Chi­na. When I go to a bar in Shang­hai in the evening, I don’t even take my wal­let with me. I can store my scanned ID card with­in WeChat, and I don’t need mon­ey anymore.

These two para­graphs should under­line how impor­tant WeChat has become as an app for the Chi­nese mar­ket. With­out WeChat, it is no longer pos­si­ble. If you want to estab­lish your­self suc­cess­ful­ly in the Chi­nese con­sumer mar­ket, there is no way around WeChat.

Have you guys ever heard of WeChat? Do you think WeChat can enter the west­ern mar­ket and change the west­ern world as well? What would it be like for you guys to go out with­out need­ing cash any­more? Writhe me your answers in the com­ments below!


Are you as excit­ed as I am right now? If you can’t wait and want to learn every­thing about WeChat, check out my book “How to Sell Big on WeChat” here.





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Nora Holtmann is a passionate platform hacker: She loves to discover new platforms and explore their technical possibilities for new businesses. Her specialty is developing new digital business models for social media platforms and reporting on them in books and blogs. That you are reading about her here is the best proof that it works. As a lecturer, she trains online marketing managers and helps them to develop creative opportunities for their companies. Her passion is traveling. When she is not traveling with her backpack, she travels the world via the internet. This way she has made contacts all over the world. She lives in Berlin and also loves to travel culinary to the countries where she is currently mentally active (currently China and Korea are on the menu). Nora Holtmann can be booked for lectures and seminars. Also check out her books on Amazon!

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