Transfigured from a mere messaging app to a multi-faceted social media giant in China, WeChat now pervades the Chinese society, playing an indubitable role in shaping trends and perceptions across the governmental, business and societal landscapes. With more than 1 billion daily users relying on WeChat for communication, their dose of latest news, updates and key opinion leaders’ perspectives, the mega app has been deemed “China’s most-used app” by Tech Crunch. In a bid to circumvent bureaucratic procedures, the Chinese government has adopted WeChat’s mini programs to accelerate conventionally arduous processes such as renewing one’s social security card, according to Tech Crunch reports. Such phenomenal recognition extended to this brainchild of Allen Zhang Xiaolong – senior executive vice president and president of Tencent’s Weixin Group – underscores the influence of WeChat on the digital current in China; even the social media-conservative Chinese government has come to incorporate WeChat’s features into its operations. Indeed, WeChat is set to be further propelled by Tencent’s plans to replace WeChat stores with Mini Programs to further optimise user experience and raise the visibility of small businesses through keyword search for a more level ecommerce playing field. Tencent will also be establishing an integrated evaluation system that will involve a Mini Program that displays the product ratings left by a users’ friends, in line with Chinese consumer behaviour, which is heavily dependent on recommendations by friends. These are merely a few examples of how WeChat is upgrading itself – its dynamic and effervescent nature highlights the possibility of more cogs turning in the gears of its creators’ minds. With even more efficient interfaces and Tencent’s undying spirit of innovation, WeChat will help businesses take flight in China and throughout the world, with its immense potential to generate higher rates of sales conversion through its ever-evolving character as a pertinent marketing tool that is consistently at the edge of the latest wave of technological and user trends. WeChat has been the preferred choice of numerous successful international brands, such as make up chain Sephora, which created a WeChat mini-website for customers to keep tabs on their point balances, member entitlements and exclusive offers – all in one place. Sephora’s partnership with WeChat has secured a thronging customer base in China for the former as consumers can access updates from Sephora within the same app they use to catch up on news and their friends’ activities, without the inconvenience of toggling in between apps.In this volatile and uncertain global landscape, no one can predict the precise developments and phenomena that will emerge. One thing is for sure, WeChat will continue to renovate the paradigms of the present and revolutionise the future. Sources: https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/10/the-next-phase-of-wechat/?renderMode=ie11
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