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WeChat Phenomenon Hits New Zealand

WeChat Phenomenon Hits New Zealand

The growth of mobile and social media technology have spiralled immensely to support people in a unique and easy way to communicate. Today, we have a number of good social media and communication tools that help business connectivity and growth.

One of the major significance seen in New Zealand is the WeChat platform.

WeChat has transformed the way the Chinese conduct their business as well as transactions. This ranges from investors to business owners, Chinese migrants and students to tourists.The phenomenal growth of WeChat in New Zealand has helped the tourism and service sectors offer a trusted and convenient payment method for Chinese visitors as well as an avenue to communicate with them.

WeChat is a Chinese social media platform that has diversified into instant messaging, mobile commerce and payment services developed by Tencent in China. The platform was first released in 2011 and emerged as one of the largest standalone messaging apps by monthly active users, with over 963 million monthly active users in 2017. Last month, Tencent became bigger than Facebook as its market capitalisation value hits USD$529.9 billion compared to Facebook at USD$ 528.5 billion. It also beat Alibaba in becoming the first Chinese company to become the top five largest corporation in the world.

According to iResearch, Chinese consumers spent RMB$58.8 trillion (NZD$12.9 trillion) via mobile payment platforms in 2016, about 50 times more than their American counterparts. By the end of 2016, Tencent alone saw its active mobile payment accounts having exceeded 600 million users per month and average payment transactions also having exceeded 600 million transactions per day.

The cashless lifestyle is now becoming a reality in China.

There is a large and lucrative Chinese community in New Zealand which some businesses are aware of but have been at a lost as how to reach them. This is for the migrants, students and also the tourist markets that can be tapped using WeChat.
Due to the language and digital barriers that the Chinese government has in place, a division between the Mandarin and English speaking worlds exists. As a result, majority of Chinese do not follow mainstream media nor on English social media networks such as Facebook or Instagram.

They can be hard to reach, yet they are big spenders on property, household items, motor vehicles, health and beauty, NZ foods including milk powder, honey and tourism.

The Daigou economy (those who buy products in NZ on behalf of their contacts in China and sends it back to them) happening in New Zealand and in Australia can be leveraged through the help of WeChat. The Chinese investors and tourists have a secured preference in utilising WeChat and business entities in New Zealand should take a look in engaging via WeChat.

It was only in the last 15 months that New Zealand businesses can effectively reach the Chinese market. This is because part of Tencent, WeChat's parent company expansion strategy is to ensure Chinese travelling out of China is able to use WeChat around the globe.

New Zealand was one of the first country that Tencent has appointed NZ WeChat Service Providers that enable Kiwi Businesses to:

- Accept WeChat Pay (i.e. the money is taken out directly from the China bank accounts and the merchant receives it in NZD) and

- Marketing on WeChat- this includes NZ business out right owning their WeChat Official Account (similar to Facebook business page) and communicating on that platform. Use the voucher function, red packet, advertising platform, mini programs.

As such Marketing Minds, partnered with PayPlus, a NZ WeChat Service Provider that is accredited by Tencent is able to provide the full suite of services allowed by Tencent in NZ.

According to Anne Casey, Managing Director of Marketing Minds, many New Zealand businesses are still unaware of the impact this can have on their businesses. ‘Finally, Kiwi businesses is able to fully engage and tap into the lucrative Chinese market while retaining the customers through a WeChat Official Account that they own out right. Before this, businesses were limited to advertising and unable to engage in the main Chinese social media WeChat.’

‘There are top tier corporates, tourism and Chinese businesses, most NZ businesses are at a lost or unaware of what to do here.’ Casey added.

It will certainly provide a greater understanding and gain market share with the NZ Chinese migrants and students. At this juncture, Marketing Minds is aggressively promoting on the WeChat phenomenon that will help to transform business connectivity with the Chinese market.


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