WeChat – if you are not aware – is one of the world’s largest and exciting social network and communication platforms, with a trifling 963 million plus users (Statista 2017).
Tencent, which has WeChat in its extensive media portfolio, is now the 10th largest publicly traded company in the world and the biggest in Asia (Hamil, 2017) – and recorded an astounding 48% revenue growth in one year – to RMB 151.9 billion ($21.9 billion) in fiscal year 2016 (Techcrunch, 2017). This goliath is winning the war for eye-balls in China.
As we marvel about the rapid growth of the most innovative social media platforms in western society – Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, just to name a few – WeChat has revolutionised functionality breadth and rapid acceptance in China, and for Chinese people worldwide.
Through Wechat, Tencent has leapfrogged the best efforts of FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), to take the lead in global FinTech and ecommerce innovation. The catalyst has been an accepting and trusting Chinese public, that has whole-heartedly embraced rapid technological change.
Consider these facts:
Chinese willingness to purchase online
In 1999, Jakob Nielsen, a Danish thought leader on usability and web design, articulated the role of trust as a core tenet of digital marketing and particularly ecommerce. He said: that websites needed to communicate trustworthiness via design quality, up-front disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web (Harley, 2016). Almost two decades on, Westerner’s trust and acceptance of e-commerce has increased greatly, yet it still has a long way to go.
By contrast, Chinese have a greater sense of trust and willingness to purchase online freely – almost daily.
Some telling statistics (IAB, 2016):
China’s mature and diverse mobile payment infrastructure is enabling rapid growth and monetisation – across an incredibly diverse range of brands, including WeChat, Weibo, QQ, Alibaba, Baidu, 360 and more.
The big players are listening closely and learning – and we need to pay more attention aswell.
If you are interested in marketing to Chinese audiences on WeChat in Australia or China, contact Adcess on firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Mark Nunan (MA Virtual Communication; BA Journalism), lectures at RMIT University in Melbourne (Advertising Media) and runs his own digital marketing consultancy and services business. He is also a consultant with a leading Chinese digital agency, Adcess (www.adcess.com.au).
Clode, Jerry. (2016). China’s Mega-App As a Storytelling Medium: Using WeChat as a research tool to empower consumer-centred insight. Paper presented at ESOMAR, Qualitative, November 2016.
Hamil, Anna. (2017). Advertising beyond imagination: China emerges as a trailblazer in mobile marketing. May/June 2017. Event Reports, Advertising Week Asia.
Harley, Aurora. (2016). Trustworthiness in Web Design: 4 Credibility Factors. May 8, 2016. https://www.nngroup.com/articles/trustworthy-design/
IAB, etal. (2016). Understanding digital commerce in the US & China. November 2016.
Statista. (2017). Number of monthly active WeChat users from 2nd quarter 2010 to 2nd quarter 2017 (in millions). https://www.statista.com/statistics/255778/number-of-active-wechat-messenger-accounts/
Techcrunch, (2016). Tencent posts $21.9 billion in annual revenue, its highest growth since 2012. Published March 22, 2017. https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/22/tencent-2016-revenue/
TechinAsia, (2014). Guanxi 2.0: how WeChat groups are changing the game in China’s tech and startup scene. Published April 29, 2014. https://www.techinasia.com/guanzi-20-wechat-groups-changing-game-chinas-tech-startup-scene