In China Wechat has become an essential tool that is used in everyday life. Wechat is not only used by local Chinese but also by foreigners that live or have any kind of relationship with China. Wechat in China is by far bigger and better than Whatsapp. The internet and the internet marketing in China are different from the rest of the World.
The Wechat that you know outside China is a bit different than the one that is used in China.
Why is Wechat so important in China? Wechat is a creation from a company Tercent that was created in November 1998 and that started to be part of Hong Kong stock market in 2004. Tercent also has QQ as part of the products they offer. You can learn more about them in www.tencent.com/en-us/system.html
At the beginning Wechat started in January 2011 as an application for instant messaging. However today is an app that has everything to make your life easier in China. It will help you communicate with your Chinese contacts while in China or any other part of the world. You can have voice or video call without needing a telephone number. The only difference versus Whatsapp is that you will not be able to see if your contact has read or seen the message. As well you can check your contacts photos and news that they can publish in a section called Moments. In terms of payment you can be able to pay in stores, to pay your bills like electricity or phone bills using only your Wechat account. And last for not least you will be able to send documents, news, invitations to events that you can subscribe directly.
Wechat has the option to install it in your computer and your mobile phone. If you open it in your computer you will have the option of saving and downloading all the documents and that have been sent.
You can enter scanning your QR code or just confirming your session on your mobile phone. It is very easy to find and add your contacts. Wechat has many options in which you can invite friends, look for your friends near you using the “radar”, you can join a private group, and scan someone’s code to add them, or find them adding them from your QQ or mobile contacts. As well you can share your contacts like you do in whatsapp. When you are using Wechat you can share your location as well with your contacts. However not everyone uses a picture or real name that why it is better not to add someone you don’t know.
It is very common for users to have a lot of contacts; however you should be aware that many people use Wechat to advertise or try to sell products sending a lot of Wechat ads.
Wechat has a lot of fun things like sending red packets to some of your contacts. People use them a lot to send money to their friends in which they can put a specific or random amount of money. The money will go directly to their Wechat wallet once they open the envelope. People use this option to make contents and see who opens the envelope first and win the money inside a created group.
People like to share photos and they will post them in Moments so this also in a way let them be closer to their contacts like you could feel when you use other social media like Instagram or Facebook. As well it is a very good tool to share news that are already published in places like Sina Weibo.
One of the biggest tools in Wechat is our wallet. Money in our wallet comes from red envelopes, transferences from other contacts or from recharges we made from our own bank. As mentioned before there is a huge universe of things that you can buy and pay using your Wechat wallet. You can share discounts and promotional codes to your contacts that can be used buying things online.
A funny thing that Wechat has, and that is commonly used are stickers. There are many types and you can buy some of them and use them. Not all of them are available everywhere. Some are sold or found only in some specific regions of China. Chinese people love using them and once you start using them they can become a real addiction.
Wechat has become an essential tool in China social media marketing and is a must have when you live in China. Once you learn how to use it you can understand why it has become so popular in China both in personal use and as a very powerful tool for business.