In the Occident World we talk about Wechat, but in China we talk about Weixin. In reality there are two different ways of identifying users. Weixin works when we register with a Chinese phone number and Wechat when we do it with a foreign number. The result is that there are some aspects that won’t work the same, as the wallet that will be hidden for non-Chinese users.
It seems that the language and the system can make an influence in having Wechat or Weixin. The information in both is different and is saved in different servers. With Weixin that rules that are followed are the ones of the Chinese government, but not with Wechat.
But why is Wechat so important in China for business? China is a huge country with a huge population and the dimensions that any business can reach here are enormous. China is among all, people.
Tercent, the company that founded Wechat, has a huge influence in the way of communicating among their users and in their lifestyle. It has opened as well many new possibilities for many businesses. Now a days more than half of the population in China uses Weixin. In order to understand how to use Wechat for business it is important to understand how it works.
Wechat has become the most popular tool among users between 16 to 65 years old. They can spend more than 90 minutes a day in Wechat and watch it more than 10 times a day. Some users have more than one account and more than 300 million users have their bank cards linked to Wechat which makes it one of the easiest and most popular payment methods in China. More than 100 million calls and video calls are made daily.
Users can have maximum 5,000 friends and the number of followers required for a business to make advertising using Wechat ads is minimum 100,000. Wechat protects its users from theft of identity.
As you can have your credit or bank card linked to Wechat you can make payments and send money to other users with red envelopes or hongbaos for up to 200 yuens, or transfers for bigger amounts.
It is very common to have several payment methods in China. Stores and business usually offer easy payments. You can find a QR code in some of the stores to make the payment easier. Not all of the stores accept Wechat but many they do. There are more than 300,000 stores offline and thousands of e-shops in China that accept Wechat payment and there are more than 200 million users of Wechat payments.
In the user’s wallet they can check their balance and the services they can get with Wechat. Nowadays people prefer to use mobile payments instead of cash. It is easier, you can consolidate all your payments and you don’t need to take cash with you. The way it works is that people arrive to a store, scan the QR code and they send the money with a red envelope after confirming the amount and using their password. This kind of payment can be used in restaurants, bars, shops, street sellers, etc.
In every user’s account you can see the amount of money they have and the payments they can make with Wechat like electricity, phone, money recharges on the mobile phone, among others.
Wechat is one of the most complete applications ever. It might sound complicated at the beginning but it is clearly a tool that is making every people’s life in China easier.