I was interviewed by a reporter from Hong Kong Free Press about virtual red packets. It’s a favorite feature in Tencent’s all-encompassing app WeChat. Tencent introduced mobile payment two years ago to combat with Alibaba’s Alipay. Mobile payment in WeChat became popular when Tencent gave away virtual red packets to television audiences watching the annual Lunar New Year variety show on the state broadcaster.
I conducted a one-hour live interview with an expert in front of 50 attendees at Beijing’s co-working space DayDayUp. Below is a write-up of the interview.
Tencent’s 2015 third quarter earnings report said that WeChat has 650 million monthly active users. Many companies in China use WeChat to promote their products and services, but they often hit a wall on how to grow their audience. Thomas Graziani, Co-Founder of a Beijing-based WeChat consulting and development agency WalktheChat, speaks to me to offer more advice on how to use this messaging and social media platform more effectively.
While WeChat celebrated its fifth birthday on January 22, WeChat Pay is only commemorating its second anniversary on Friday. Tencent completed internal testing and opened up WeChat Pay to verified service accounts such as enterprises and brick-and-mortar stores on March 4, 2014.
Tencent said in the company’s 2015 third quarter results that WeChat has amassed 650 million monthly active users. The platform is the world’s fourth most popular messaging app after WhatsApp, QQ Mobile and Facebook Messenger, according to statistics firm Statista.
Tencent also reported in the same earnings report that over 200 million users have linked their bank cards on WeChat. WeChat Pay is stuck at a distant second of 15.9% in the mobile payment market in China, trailing behind Alibaba’s Alipay, which has 71.5% of the market share, according to internet data research firm Analysys.