” WeChat launched a new bid in Europe and US to develop its payments offering and win new advertisers. The Chinese social media and messaging giant will in time expand to travel and broader retail services. “
WeChat, China’s most popular social media and messaging service owned by internet giant Tencent, with more than 889 million users in its home country, has launched a new bid in Europe and the U.S. to develop its payments offering and win new advertisers.
WeChat is now encouraging Western brands to sell products on the WeChat platform. In Europe, the focus is first on fashion and luxury goods, and will in time expand to travel and broader retail services.
WeChat is hoping its expansion in Europe will convince more high-profile brands onto the platform, not only to reach consumers in China, but also Chinese tourists visiting Europe.
Goldman Sachs estimates that 220 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas by 2025, up from 120 million in 2015.
Tencent’s payment business is booming, as its average daily transactions topped 600 million a day in December. Chinese consumers are using the service to pay for everything from ride-hailing to food takeout. Yet the service remains largely unused outside of its home country.
But while WeChat has been one of the leading providers in offering chat-based payment systems, its global competitors have been ramping up the competition.
Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has been expanding its payments offering within its messaging apps, while Alibaba Group’s finance affiliate has been busy pushing Alipay in Europe. Alipay partnered with 10 major international airports to make the Alipay payments available at these airports starting from October 2016.