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WeChat is a free messaging service from China that gains popularity rapidly. Besides standard features It includes voice messaging and videochat. By doing an search online, this slidedeck was made to answer the question what WeChat is and how companies can effectively use this service.


Published in: Business, Technology


  1. 1. WeChat
  2. 2. • WeChat reached 600 million users in Oct 2013, including 150 million out of China • WeChat is the world‟s top messaging app, ahead of products like Twitter (218 million) and WhatsApp (350 million) • In China, 90 percent of smartphones now use it, with heavy daily activity. Known as WeiXin, rebranded globally as WeChat • WeChat Payment is integrated into the platform in China, driving important daily traffic from WeChat to online shops. Users can link their bank card, receive benefits, and reduce the number of clicks before purchase. WeChat info
  3. 3. Messaging features • Hold to talk • Typing is a pain for a lot of Chinese: QWERTY isn‟t optimized for the language, Pinyin is based on Mandarin while lots of Chinese speak a different dialect, there are no abbreviations in the language and switching between languages is often slow doing. Solution: voice messaging, short hold-to-talk messages are convenient, more intimate and as a bonus suitable for not-tech- savvy people (grandmothers etc). • QR code integration • Chinese have difficulty pronouncing words/letters because of their character based language (it‟s why numbers are often used). Scanning a QR code makes it easier to add friends-just scan their QR! WeChat made for china This and next slides:
  4. 4. Social Media/Social Network • Facebook and Twitter aren‟t accessible: enter Moments by WeChat. • Share photos/text, mention friends, like, comment, share location etc • Contact list is not visible to anyone (no need for fake accounts) • You can only see interactions of your friends (so no comment/likes on a post from others than your friends) • Group messaging for up to 500 people • Joing a group and use it, much like a forum or Twitter, based on topics • Official account • Two types of “official accounts” exist on WeChat – service and subscription (RSS feed) • Read articles inside the app WeChat made for china
  5. 5. Platform • App integration into WeChat • Chinese version of „Yelp‟ ( • Music/video players • Air quality app • Games in-app • Allows you to play games in the WeChat environment • Wallet • allowing you to pay for more mobile minutes, movie tickets, split bills, or buy select products. *these features are not all available worldwide WeChat made for china
  6. 6. Wechat announced on October 29 2013, Wechat would open a number of APIs to verified public accounts. It would charge public accounts for 300 yuan (USD 49) annually for verification fee. • User profile API allows public accounts to get user ID and location information. It is a good news for third-party developers, they could build up member information. • Grouping followers API allows account manager to group followers and send them messages separately. • Location API could get users location information. It‟s very crucial for LBS app. However, some API would not be opened to all public accounts. • Wechat payment API is crucial for Tencent‟s mobile shopping strategy, even Jack Ma, former CEO of Alibaba was afraid of Wechat payment. Tencent is quite cautious about Wechat payment API, therefore, they would only open it to a few verified accounts. Enterprises need to get verification from Tenpay, which requires a lot of certifications. • Message sending API allows public accounts to send messages one on one with no number limits. Wechat focuses on user experience, so this API would not open to most public accounts either. • Follow me API allows users to follow public accounts on webpage or sharing pages by simply clicking the following button. This time, it would not open to every public accounts. • Sharing API allows users to share the pages by clicking the sharing button on pages. It would not completely open, either. • Unfollow API allows public account managers to see the people even if they have unfollowed the public account. • Address API allows public account managers to gain users‟ address to receive packages from other public accounts. • CRM API allows enterprises to upload their members‟ information. Whether it will open or not, we cannot say right now. The core of Wechat open API new policies is to improve user experience. For public accounts managers, they should try to improve their services to attract users rather than simply advertising themselves. [] WeChat open API policy
  7. 7. Image recognition SDK • Enables third parties to image recognition capability to WeChat accounts • Service is free and is said to become more powerful later on Example of use :after scanning a book cover, you‟ll be able to read reviews form Douban Books (one of the most popular platforms for book ratings and reviews in China) or buy the book form (an online retailer) Examples of WeChat software development kits (SDK) Speech recognition SDK • Voice open platform enables third parties to add speech-based features to WeChat accounts • One developer is allowed to register up to ten WeChat based applications, is free for small- and mid-sized developers Examples: China‟s Merchants Bank and Soso Maps have integrated speech recognition and speech-to-text capabilities to their WeChat accounts [ ]
  8. 8. Comparison WeChat WhatsApp Facebook Mobile Line Users 600 million, 100 million daily 590 million (estimate), 350 milloo monthy 945 million monthly, 556 daily 300 million Platforms Smartphones, tablets, desktop (PC/Mac), web Smartphones Smartphones, tablets, web Smartphones, tablet, desktop (PC/Mac) Features Text/Voice chat, Data (photo/video/location etc) sending, Voice/video call, groupchat, QR code, App connect, Look around, Wallet, Shake, Timeline, drift bottle, Games Text/Voice chat, Data (photo/video/audio etc) sending, Location, Groupchat Text/Video Chat, Data (photo/audio/video etc) sending, Group chat, Location, Timeline, Games app connect, Events Text/Voice chat, Data (photo/video/audio etc) sending, Voice/Video call. Location, Groupchat, Movie chat, App connect, Timeline Marketing opportunities Official accoounts, gaming apps, open API, Wallet functions Private use, no advertising Official accounts, no open API Official accounts, gaming apps, open API, branded stickers, brands can send messages, artists can share with ON AIR function
  9. 9. Campaign WeChat‟s open architecture allows for customized plug-ins, and that‟s exactly what our China team did – designing an interactive experience in which users could upload a personal photo in exchange for a mobile coupon customized with his/her photo. There was also a QR code on each coupon making it easy for consumers to share coupons with their friends. Before you say QR codes are dead, you might want to check out thepenetration in China. Introduction: The campaign capitalizes on the celebrity of REN Zhong, a rising TV star who is just another active social media user among China‟s TV generation. Module A, “Spreading the Word”: The vendor, using its official WeChat channel, spreads the campaigns in which a “selfie,” a photo one takes of oneself, can trade in for a digital coupon from Yoshinoya with a customized “selfie.” Module B, “Online, Offline”: The same message is also printed on every seat in every restaurant, so customers, holding chopsticks in one hand, can free their other hands to scan the QR promo code on the table and take a selfie of “Joe at lunch break.” Module C, “Social Media”: The campaign goes on to address the clout of REN Zhong and other social media key influencers to expand the campaign. Module D, “Show Your Friends”: As noted earlier, the “Moments” feature on WeChat that includes QR codes allows customers to show friends they are having lunch with their “selfies”, functioning as a digital version of a word-of-mouth channel. Quick Look at the Numbers The ability to measure digital actions and content gives PR a way to declare victory for this type of campaign. Our custom plug-in was downloaded 26,663 times. The campaign generated more than 7,000 photos. Unfortunately, the number of redeemed coupons is client confidential, but it‟s obviously a key metric. Looking to the long term, Yoshinoya‟s WeChat account rose from less than 3,000 followers to more than 18,000 by the end of the campaign. Of course, the program included a media relations dimension, but it‟s the quantification from the digital component that takes measurement to the next level. [ the-future-of-communications/] Case study
  10. 10. Case One: cnfol-com CNFOL, a Chinese finance portal website, includes finance, stocks, securities, market statistics, funds, futures, options and foreign exchange, insurance,etc. CNFOL Wechat public account allows users to check finance news and market index, send selected finance information to users and offer investment services. Users only need to enter stock code to get that stock quotation. It‟s convenient and easy to learn. Case Two: Mideace Midea is a Chinese leading home appliance manufacturer, and its Wechat public account Mideace offers one-stop service. Midea‟s customized menu allows users to get to know Midea‟s products information and market launch updates. If they want to purchase, they could enter online mall to buy the products. What‟s more, they could find customer service information in public account, such as after-sales network, product specification, complaints of products, Q&A and help. Wechat public account helps Midea shorten the communication channels with consumers and lower the cost. Case Three: wyn88v Vienna Hotel Group is a chain hotels with over 480 branch hotels in about 80 cities in China. Its Wechat public account offers a comprehensive booking service, connected with online booking system. Except for booking rooms via Wechat public account, consumers could also search for points, order and discount information. Once you finish booking a room, your mobile will receive a confirmation message. Wechat public account offers another convenient way for booking hotel rooms. Case Four: lacrocheposay1975 LaRochePosay, an international beauty products brand, launched a 50ml sample sending activity during June and July this year. This activity used Wechat marketing for the first time, optimized sending procedures and improved consumer experience and user feedback obtain. Consumers could apply for the sample online via Wechat public account, and got the sample offline in stores. Then it sent back offline consumers information to online database, realized O2O cycle. [This and next slides: Examples
  11. 11. Case Five: qunar-wang Qunar cooperated with Adsit, a Chinese digital marketing optimization platform, launched a Wechat public account call center customer service. Qunar became the first Chinese OTA enterprise to move call center on Wechat public platform. It also took advantage of Wechat strong ties with users and simple third-party login, and developed QR code scanning sharing button and coupons cloud wallet apps suitable for travel decision-making and travel products purchasing. Its Wechat customized menu had strong and useful functions. Since the launch of Qunar Wechat public account, its followers increased 2,000 per day. Qunar put a precised-target, small-scale and high ROI social marketing into practice on Wechat public platform. Recently, several travel products snap up were limited within Wechat followers. Wechat selected consumers by multiple labels (city, gender, inquiring records, purchase history, preference) and invited them to the promotion activities. One of the activity sold out 150,000 travel products in two hours. For Wechat marketing, it is very crucial to grasp consumer psychology. Case Six: rainbow-cn Rainbow is a Chinese department store, its Wechat public account allows users to purchase shopping card. Consumers could hit purchase button on its Wechat public account, and choose Wechat payment. The shopping card could be used in any Rainbow mall nationwide, what‟s more, you could send the shopping card as a gift to your friends via Wechat. Case Seven: m51buy 51buy Wechat Double 11 marketplace achieved 80,000 transaction orders on November 11 2013. 51buy launched Wechat marketplace at midnight on November 11 in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, featured as flash sales. First,51buy elaborately selected popular products which saved consumers from picking and choosing from different categories, they could purchase chosen products directly from the shelf; Second, the specified shopping procedures didn‟t need consumers to put products in shopping-cart, they could confirm the order immediately; Last, consumers paid for the purchase via Wechat payment. Examples
  12. 12. Case Eight: proyachina Between September and October 2013, Proya (a Chinese cosmetics brand founded in 2003) started a marketing activity called hydropower. Proya not only set up PC minisite, but also built Wechat activity page which enable consumers to take part in the activity in mobile-end. Proya connected Wechat activity with offline stores and Tmall online store, so that consumers could choose to obtain rewards either from offline store for free sample or from Tmall online store for coupons. It greatly improved consumer experience and consumption rate. Proya successfully integrated online activity, offline reward obtain and online Tmall store coupons, realized online, offline consumer interaction. Case Nine: jumeivip Jumei is a Chinese brand cosmetics and skincare products group buy website. Jumei Wechat pubic account is the first cosmetics and skincare products try out platform. By answering questions correctly and share information to friends circle, consumers could get opportunities to free try out products. Jumei targets at female consumers precisely, with content catering to the needs of female consumers, such as skincare methods, how to look pretty, fashion circle, in fashion and group buy information. Jumei Wechat public account supports Alipay and pay on delivery, stimulating consumption greatly. Case Ten: xmsj816 Xiaomi, an Apple-like Chinese mobile manufacturer, announced on November 22 to cooperate with Wechat, 150,000 Xiaomi 3 mobile phones were going to snap up on Wechat public account platform and paid via Wechat payment. Xiaomi usually launched its mobile phone online with extremely low price for panic purchasing, its scarcity marketing strategy was a huge success. Consumers could book for snapping up with 0.01 yuan (USD 0.0016) cost to get 5 yuan (USD 0.82) cash coupon for xiaomi 3. Consumers not only could purchase mobile phone via xiaomi Wechat public account, but also got information about how to snap up xiaomi 3 mobile phone, order inquiry, product information and booking.Xiaomi used Wechat public account to draw close the distance with consumers. Examples
  13. 13. Creative marketing possibilities with WeChat
  14. 14. • whatsapp/1/ • brands/38568/ • • • • stats/ • glimpse-into-the-future-of-communications/ • marketing/ • • speech-recognition-sdk/ • Sources
  15. 15. • Comparison Chart • • Flop or not? • wechat-im-future-or-flop Also interesting sources (not used here)