The secret to WeChat’s success in China and beyond

China 24

It has over 800 million users and growing. You can use it to pay your bills, book flights, grab a cab, replace your passport and keep in touch with friends. WeChat has evolved from startup to ‘must-have’ app in just a few years. Our Nathan King has been checking it out.

One key to its success is the humble QR Code. Scanning the code connects users, makes purchases at the market and allows for check-ins at a hospital, or an airport.

But behind the QR code is the WeChat philosophy that is very different from western social media companies. That means ads aren’t everywhere on WeChat. In fact, they are easy to block out.

Blocking other users is easy, too. And WeChat takes its social responsibility seriously, pulling down posts the company considers aggressive, bullying or destructive fake news or rumors

But perhaps WeChat’s biggest success is its stickiness. When Chinese people are online, or on their phones – about a third of their time is spent using the WeChat app.

The company makes it easy and attractive for third party apps to work in the WeChat environment.