Who moved my Wechat?

Who moved my WeChat?

by Xiuying Kong


How popular is iPhone in China? Many young Chinese are proud of owning an iPhone. “There are now more than 131 million iPhones in-use in China at the end of 2015, making it a larger market for Apple than the U.S., which is estimated to have 110 million active iPhone users, according to data released earlier this year by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.” (resource: Just How Popular is the iPhone in China? By Don Reisinger, Fortune, May 18, 2016).

How popular are WeChat in China? Almost every adult Chinese use WeChat every day. As for the craziest guys, they may use WeChat every —-MOMENT. Yes, every moment. WeChat is more than social media in China. WeChat, known as WeiXin (micro letter– translated word by word from Chinese), was launched by Tencent in 2011. There are 800 million monthly active users and by average 600 million daily active users in China. WeChat is designed as a combination of several social media Apps (Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp’s, etc.) but more than a social media. It is a kind of lifestyle, a culture character, a modern choice, whatever.

WeChat can be reached by IOS and Android users. But started from April, 2017, WeChat users found that WeChat abolished tipping feature on Apple iPhones. There is no any change to affect Android users. Tencent said, per Apple’s policy, WeChat “regrettable” abolish the feature (to tip emoji and content creators) because Apple prohibits any Apps from including buttons or links that direct customers to purchasing systems rather than through its iOS ecosystem. For WeChat users, “tipping” means users can deposit money within the app’s wallet, thus WeChat encourages more designers to develop Apps to get tips directly from supporters. These tips will directly reach the designers and WeChat never charges. But per the terms laid down by Apple, Apple will take some percentage of those tips.

Tencent has negotiated with Apple for a couple of months. They selected to compromise to Apple. Although Apple explains that WeChat can still use tipping feature but it must be got by Apple’s own in-app purchase system, which Apple insists every Apps developer MUST use. It seems that these two IT giants have unreconciled conflicts on business.

Patrick Henry said on March 23, 1775 “Give me liberty or give me death”. Some Chinese WeChat users will say “Give me WeChat or give me death”, but if one day users must select between WeChat and iPhone, which one will be discarded? Apple or Tencent?



More information about Tencent:

Every adult Chinese owns at least one QQ account. Similar function as Skype or MSN, QQ is an instant messaging software launched by Tencent in 1999, but is still popular among the Chinese internet community with 900 million monthly active users even now.