First Published on 4th September, 2017
Engaging people from China on Tencent’s WeChat or Alibaba demands an unwavering effort in order to make the most of these unique ecosystems. Foreign travel brands need to be proactive, rather than being reactive, since consumers in China purse “hot” trends and the likes of Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba are quite progressive in terms of introducing new initiatives or features.
“Alibaba and Tencent are almost coming across as “two different types of Internets”. (The challenge) is that these ecosystems don’t talk to each other,” says Matthew Brennan, co-founder, China Channel. So what this means for e-commerce players or the advertisers is that they are sort of locked in a data ecosystem, which is not transferable. So this becomes a case of a “walled garden” – you can’t get data out of an ecosystem.
There is no dearth of peculiar developments in case of WeChat, for instance, a fashion blogger selling 100 limited edition MINI Coopers, worth $42000 on WeChat in 5 minutes or the release of new style QR codes for Mini Programs. Even as questions are being raised how the usage of the WeChat app can be scaled up from the current level of 963 million users (at the end of Q2), there is no denying that WeChat remains a popular destination for shoppers in China.
WeChat Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs, WeChat search, Mini Programs, WeChat Pay, Official Accounts…if you are well-versed with Tencent’s WeChat, then you would definitely know these are some of the features of how a brand can get associated with this ecosystem.
“WeChat is neither just social media, nor just WhatsApp nor just payments either. Rather think of it as an operating system, akin to Android or iOS,” says Brennan.
By Ritesh Gupta
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