Alibaba and WeChat duke it out in the war to be China’s Slack

ChinaTech in Asia — Last week, WeChat rolled out its answer to Slack, WeChat Enterprise. But while Slack itself has never had a large presence in China, WeChat isn’t waltzing into this market alone – Alibaba’s DingTalk was there first, and the company isn’t looking to give in easily.

https://www.techinasia.com/alibaba-wechat-duke-war-chinas-slack

WeChat just launched a Slack competitor, but there’s a catch

ChinaThe Next Web — WeChat is ready to take on a new market: the office. The company today launched WeChat Enterprise, essentially its competitor to the ever-growing Slack. First announced in March, it has most of the features you expect from standard WeChat. You can make groups, send photos, voice clips, files, locations and even stickers. However, it differentiates itself with a few work-centric changes.

Why did WeChat succeed in China where other apps failed?

ChinaTech in Asia — When Tencent first launched WeChat back in January, 2011, nobody predicted that the bare-bones, mobile-only messenger was just five years away from being an ecommerce and social media juggernaut with well over half a billion users. The last half decade saw China’s former social media giants get used to living in WeChat’s shade.

https://www.techinasia.com/why-wechat-succeeded-china

Apple now accept payments through WeChat

ChinaAdd this to the list of things you can do with WeChat: buy Apple gadgets. Tencent’s messaging-app-cum-everything-platform announced Wednesday that support for WeChat Pay has been added to Apple’s official online stores in China. That means that you can now use WeChat pay for all of your Apple gadget and accessory needs.

https://www.techinasia.com/buy-iphone-ipad-wechat-pay-china

Tencent maps out freemium empire with chat app

China.gifNikkei — HONG KONG — China’s Tencent Holdings is poised to spin its hit chat application into a unique digital economic sphere, leveraging its massive user base to take over the domestic market for premium smartphone-based services. The social networking giant’s WeChat smartphone app boasted nearly 700 million users at the end of 2015 — more than half of the national population.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/AC/Tencent-maps-out-freemium-empire-with-chat-app

WeChat is building its own Slack

ChinaTech in Asia — Tencent, the company behind China’s wildly popular messenger/digital wallet/everything app WeChat, is planning to launch a new messenger aimed at office workers – and Slack had better watch out. The company hasn’t yet pegged a definite release date for Enterprise WeChat (企业微信), as it will be called, but there are a few things we know for sure.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-slack-work-office-chat

WeChat Pay goes global in search of Chinese tourist dollars

China.gifTech in Asia — The battle over the Chinese epayment market is raging fiercely now that Apple Pay and Samsung Pay have taken to the field in China. But WeChat Pay is heading in the opposite direction: the service announced yesterday that it’s launching support for overseas vendors. The system will allow Chinese users to put money into their WeChat Pay accounts in RMB (as they currently do).

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-pay-global-search-chinese-tourist-dollars

Chinese Mobile Phone Users Sent 699.2 Billion Texts Last Year

ChinaChina Tech News — Chinese mobile phone users sent out a total of 699.2 billion short messages in 2015, according to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. MIIT’s satistics also showed that the year of 2012 was the peak for short messages in China. Since then, the number of short messages sent out continued to decrease year by year despite the fact that the number of Chinese mobile phone users kept growing.

http://www.chinatechnews.com/2016/02/23/23106-chinese-mobile-phone-users-sent-699-2-billion-texts-last-year

WeChat will soon let content creators charge for article reads

ChinaTech in Asia — There’s no doubt that WeChat is the cutting edge when it comes to media in China. But the company is working on rolling out a new feature that sounds decidedly-old school: allowing writers to charge for access to articles. Reports in the Chinese press have suggested that this feature is already on WeChat for beta testing. Tencent representatives say that’s not true, but in their response to TechWeb, they confirm that paid reading is coming sometime soon.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-content-creators-charge-article-reads

Who will be the WeChat of India? And what will it do to Flipkart and Snapdeal?

IndiaTech in Asia — The trend of buying things through chat has taken off in such a big way in China that some wonder if it’s a sign that chat commerce will pose a threat to conventional ecommerce around the world. The prime example of this trend is WeChat, China’s most popular messaging app that just turned five years old. Some of our writers have spent entire days using nothing but the chat app – and have all lived to tell the tale.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-india-flipkart-snapdeal

WeChat launches mobile wallet service in HK

Hong KongTelecom Asia — WeChat has launched its payment service WeChat Pay in Hong Kong, including the new Wallet in-app payment feature. Wallet allows WeChat users to connect their MasterCard or Visa credit cards with their accounts to allow them to pay for products and services without having to exit the WeChat app.

http://www.telecomasia.net/content/wechat-launches-mobile-wallet-service-hk

WeChat Amps Up Competition With New Phone Call Function

ChinaChina Tech News — Tencent’s WeChat launched a new function named “WeChat Out”, which allows users to call fixed-line phones or mobile phones, aiming to compete with its Asian competitor Line. This new function is currently only available in some markets outside mainland China, including the U.S., Hong Kong, and India. However, Tencent promised that it will soon be available in more countries and regions.

http://www.chinatechnews.com/2016/01/11/22594-wechat-amps-up-competition-with-new-phone-call-function/

3 things to remember when growing your business with WeChat and Weibo in China

ChinaTech In Asia — Whether it is because of its exceptional entrepreneurship, state support for innovation, or just the sheer giant population base, China undoubtedly has the world’s largest number of internet users and fastest growing ecommerce markets. We’ve seen a number of successful start-ups and other business stories on Chinese internet within China, but what about foreign small business owners or investors who want to squeeze into China’s huge online market? How can social media help them achieve this goal?

https://www.techinasia.com/talk/3-remember-growing-business-wechat-weibo-china/

Qatar telecom operator offers free data services for WeChat Myanmar

MyanmarWant China Times — Qatar-based telecom operator Ooredoo Myanmar has offered free data services for the WeChat Myanmar app under a partnership program between the two communication apps, an official report said Tuesday. Under a joint promotion program launched in Yangon by Ooredoo Myanmar and WeChat Myanmar, Ooredoo will waive data usage fee for the instant messaging app starting Monday.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150908000135

When one app rules them all: The case of WeChat and mobile in China

China.gifTech In Asia — This post is all about WeChat, but it’s also about more than just WeChat. While seemingly just a messaging app, WeChat is actually more of a portal, a platform, and even a mobile operating system depending on how you look at it. Much has been written about WeChat in the context of messaging app trends, but few outside of China really understand how it works — and how it can pull off what for many companies (and countries) is still a far-off vision of a world managed entirely through our smartphones.

https://www.techinasia.com/talk/app-rules-case-wechat-mobile-china/

Microsoft brings Chinese personal assistant to WeChat

China.gifMicrosoft launched its intelligent personal assistant “XiaoIce” on Tencent’s WeChat Thursday with plans for business use to compete with rivals like Apple’s Siri and Google Now. XiaoIce, a virtual personal assistant that Microsoft says was developed by its Beijing research team is accessible on Tencent’s instant messenger WeChat as Microsoft expands its offerings on mobile internet platforms.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150821000075

WeChat’s Tencent enters music-streaming fray with Joox, from KL

MalaysiaTHE music streaming world just got a whole lot more competitive, especially in Malaysia, with a new player joining the ranks of Spotify, Deezer and Raku in an already crowded marketplace. On June 26, Tencent Holdings Ltd introduced Joox, its online music streaming service. Tencent is also the owner and operator of the hugely popular WeChat instant messaging software.

http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/personal-tech/wechat-tencent-enters-music-streaming-fray-with-joox

Tencent may have to quit Taiwan if WeChat unauthorized

TaiwanChinese internet giant Tencent’s subsidiary in Taiwan will face screening by the country’s Investment Commission on whether its current operating business meets the range of previous approval, and could be ordered to divest if it violates the rules, our sister paper Want Daily reports. The commission said on June 8 that Tencent’s subsidiary applied as a mainland Chinese investor but the application did not cover its WeChat messaging business. If it is engaged in commercial activities in an area for which it had not applied, it could face a penalty or even required to leave Taiwan.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150614000073

WeChat gets voice login, 6.2 update

ChinaTENCENT Holdings Ltd has introduced the Voiceprint feature for its WeChat app, allowing users to log into their accounts through voice recognition, and rolled out more features under its 6.2 update. The speech-activated feature provides users with a new, quick and secure way to access their accounts, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement. Users can verbally read out a set of unique numbers, with an option of not going through the process of remembering a lengthy password.

http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/personal-tech/wechat-gets-voice-login-6-update

WeChat hits 549mil global users, claims 95% penetration in Malaysia

MalaysiaTENCENT Holdings Ltd said its WeChat messaging app has reached 549 million monthly active users globally, up from the 500-million user milestone achieved three months ago in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014. In Malaysia, it claims a 95% smartphone penetration rate. Citing research released by GlobalWebIndex (GWI), it said the active user base in Malaysia has grown by 1,187% from Q1 2013 to Q3 2014.
http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/mobility/wechat-hits-549mil-global-users-claims-95pc-penetration-in-malaysia

‘Weishang’ business model poses challenges for WeChat

China.gifThe development of e-commerce on Tencent’s WeChat platform has led to questions about the fate of the social media app used by 500 million people, according to Guangzhou’s Time Weekly. Tencent began allowing commercial activities through WeChat’s “Moments” feature, which offers updates of a user’s online friends, beginning last year. The decision has led to thriving business activities that are plagued by counterfeits, fake products and fraud schemes, with one industry insider calling the development similar to that of Taobao, China’s most popular shopping site owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1204&MainCatID=12&id=20150511000001

WeChat’s movie ticketing app raises $105M series B funding

China.gifThe startup that runs Chinese messaging app WeChat’s movie ticket sales service has announced the completion of a US$105 million series B round of funding, according to QQ Tech. Investors include WeChat maker Tencent, real estate giant Wanda Group, Chinese film investment fund Wenzi Huasha, Shandong Luxin Investment Holdings Group, Shanghai Gangtai Group, and ECapital.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechats-movie-ticketing-app-raises-105m-series-funding/

Alipay Wallet follows WeChat with launch of city service payments

ChinaChina’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities. Clicking on a new “City Services” tab inside Alipay Wallet draws up a menu with options to book hospital appointments, pay for parking tickets, settle gas and water bills, and even buy gasoline. Users can also look up information regarding traffic and public transportation, and manage other minor bureaucratic tasks.

https://www.techinasia.com/alipay-wallet-follows-wechat-with-launch-of-city-service-payments/

WeChat tests out banner ads and promoted app installs in article view

ChinaWeChat, China’s most popular chat app, announced today it has begun testing out banner ads and promoted app installs on its “article view” pages. WeChat tends to attract the foreign tech industry’s attention for its growing number of services, like taxi booking and mobile payments. But it’s also a popular destination for news reading. Publishers will often push out content daily through their official accounts, using WeChat’s own publishing platform or a third-party one.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-tests-banner-ads-promoted-app-installs-article-view/

WeChat now has 500 million monthly active users

ChinaMessaging app WeChat now has 500 million monthly active users (MAUs), parent company Tencent revealed today. The new figure for Q4 2014 is up from 468 million in Q3 last year, and up from 355 million at the end of 2013. WeChat’s growth in active user numbers slowed down dramatically in the first three quarters of 2014, but it stabilized at 6.8 percent growth from Q3 to Q4 – the same rate as from Q2 to Q3.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-500-million-active-users-q4-2014/

The 10 commandments of Wechat: new rules for what you can and can’t post

China.gifWeChat, the most popular messaging app and social network in China with 468 million monthly active users, yesterday set in stone 10 rules for users posting to the app’s news feed, called Moments in English (h/t to 36kr for spotting). An article from the WeChat Security Center says the service will “resolutely crack down on all kinds of illegal content and behavior.

https://www.techinasia.com/10-commandments-wechat-rules-post/

WeChat, Weibo ordered to crack down on viral pollution film ‘Under the Dome,’ but discussion continues

ChinaOver the past week, China has been going gaga over pollution. No, the skies aren’t any grayer than usual; the reason is Under the Dome, a documentary about pollution from popular CCTV journalist Chai Jing that hit the web and went viral. The film burned its way through WeChat and Weibo, racking up tens of millions of views in just 24 hours. Now, around a week later, it has already been watched more than 100 million times.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-weibo-ordered-crack-viral-pollution-film-under-dome-discussion-continues/

WeChat helps bitcoin get a festive boost from Chinese New Year gifting

ChinaBitcoin enthusiasts in China exchanged a total of RMB 10 million (US$1.6 million) in Chinese New Year gifts using the cryptocurrency, according to Beijing-based exchange OKCoin. This mostly happened through WeChat, the popular messaging app, as half a million people used OKCoin’s mobile wallet and WeChat account – called OKLink – to gift bitcoin to their buddies during the course of the week-long holiday.

https://www.techinasia.com/china-wechat-bitcoin-gifting-okcoin/

WeChat users sent each other 1 billion cash-filled red envelopes last night

ChinaLast night was Chinese New Year’s Eve. Amidst all the other festivities, China’s WeChat users sent each other an astonishing 1.01 billion red envelopes (pictured above), the social media company revealed this afternoon. The virtual red envelopes stuffed with actual cash, which mirror a long-held gift-giving tradition at Chinese New Year, are a growing trend in China as people make more use of online payment methods.

https://www.techinasia.com/wechat-1-billion-red-envelopes-chinese-new-year-2015/