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What made WeChat a winner in March?

I have selected the most remarkable updates that contributed to WeChat’s success last month.

Enjoy!

1. FEATURES

Friend Membership Feature on WeChat Pay

WeChat is working to reach the top in both online and offline payments. The latest feature being tested in WeChat Pay allows retailers to offer tailored loyalty programs through a section roughly translated as “Friend Membership”. With this feature, merchants would be able to add regular customers to their account and push special discounts to them. The service will also entail a dedicated Moments section, which is particularly convenient for new product announcements or specific marketing campaigns.

New Logistic Interface on WeChat

WeChat has rolled out a new logistic interface which enhances the e-commerce experience for shoppers. Customers, after a purchase, will be able to track the shipping progress of their orders generated by the courier. This is another example of the parallel growth among the Chinese largest companies, as the move takes after an existing Alibaba tracking platform. Among the courier companies which Tencent plans to invest in, also figures STO Express, an Alibaba affiliate.

2. MINI PROGRAMS

WeChat Mini Games Open up to Developers from Abroad

Mini Program is a perfect platform to host games because of its short blazing time and low weight. Moreover, they contribute to making the WeChat ecosystem more addictive, increasing the daily time users spend on it. Recently, WeChat has opened up its mini program ecosystem and allowed developers from around the world to craft new entertaining content for the platform. The first two developers outside China mentioned so far is Google, with an AI-based Pictionary-like game, and Game Closure with “Linsane Hoops,” based on the NBA star Jeremy Lin.

King Power Mini Program to Reach Chinese Tourists

King Power, the Thai international group, built a WeChat Mini Program with the aim to target Chinese Tourists. The store hosts some of the major and most appreciated cosmetic brands – among the most sought-after products categories by travelers. Now, travelers can search for products and proceed to the purchase never leaving the WeChat Pay ecosystem. They do not lose time to queue at the cash register when rushing for the flight. By inputting their flight and passport information, they can benefit from duty-free prices.

3. EXPANSION

Shenzhen – Tencent Partnership on Blockchain

China’s railway infrastructure is the largest high-speed network in the world and cutting-edge technology-wise. It absorbs innovation like a sponge, starting from facial recognition to 5G networks and still rolling. The municipality of Shenzhen, partnering with Tencent, crafted a blockchain invoice system based on WeChat. Now it just took the next step, by creating a system to record subway rides’ invoices to the blockchain. Such technology would allow passengers to pay for all the services through WeChat Pay, making the whole trip more convenient and smooth.

UPI Powered WeChat in India

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is the single-window mobile payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). UPI was first developed in 2016 and, since then, many global players – including Amazon, Google, Xiaomi – have sensed the opportunity and adopted this technology. Recently, Tencent has announced the launch of its own UPI-based app in India. Senior officials of Tencent are working with NPCI to obtain a license for full-fledged payments app. The official launch is expected for late May/June.

4. AWARDS

WeChat Awarded the iF Gold Award

The scan-and-go technology of WeChat allows shoppers to check out without queuing at the cash register, shortening the payment procedure and overall increasing the turnover for shops. Such a customer-oriented evolution in the shopping experience was rewarded with the iF Gold Award in Service Design Category, a long-lasting design award based in Germany. It is the first time the prize goes to a Chinese company.

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