We Chat About WeChat #5: Red Packets – WeChat’s Secret Weapon in Payments

WeChat Red Packets

Career opportunities at WeChat: wechat.com/en/careers.html

 

Tens of millions of users send Red Packets (formerly called “Lucky Money” or “Red Envelopes”) stuffed with digital cash to each other every day on WeChat. What is this amazing mobile payments product and how did it get so popular? Learn how WeChat transformed person-to-person payments into a form of communication.

We speak with Stephen Wang, senior product manager at WeChat and Siyu Xiao, the product manager responsible for the most recent redesign of the Red Packets product.

 

As a follow up to the podcast, in Spring Festival 2015 (February 2015), WeChat delivered over 1 billion Red Packets. Less than one year later during New Year 2016 (January 1, 2016), WeChat users sent each other over 2.3 billion Red Packets.

 

Read More We Chat About WeChat #5: Red Packets – WeChat’s Secret Weapon in Payments >>

We Turned Five Today!

WeChat 5 Years

Today marks a half a decade since WeChat was first introduced. It has been an amazing journey and evolution to now 650M monthly active users around the world.

 

We would like to take this time to say “Thank You” to all our users. You make WeChat what it is today. Look forward to continuing to serve you and your lifestyle.

 

Best,

WeChat Team

 

Caesars Entertainment Showcases WeChat Robot Using ObEN’s Humanized A.I.

Caesars Entertainment WeChat Robot2

Caesars Entertainment introduces “Ben” the WeChat Robot – a virtual concierge – using ObEN’s proprietary speech technology at The LINQ Hotel located at the center of the Las Vegas Strip during the annual Consumer Electronics Show from Jan. 6-9.

 

ObEN, an artificial intelligence (A.I.) company based in Pasadena, Calif., has developed a proprietary deep-learning based speech technology that permits any Internet of Things such as WeChat Robots to communicate in any language and in any voice in a matter of minutes.

 

During CES, visitors and guests of The LINQ Hotel will have the opportunity to converse with “Ben” the WeChat Robot from 7-11 a.m. and 4-8 p.m. on Jan. 6-9 through the WeChat app using an Internet of Things (IoT) platform developed by ObEN. To physically interact with “Ben,” guests at the hotel can use the touchscreen on the robot to obtain information on nearby dining, entertainment and nightlife options. Guests can also send a message to the robot by following Caesars Entertainment on WeChat, and “Ben” will speak back to them on-site in real time. Additionally, guests can scan Caesars Entertainment’s WeChat QR code anytime during Jan. 6-9 to engage with the virtual concierge from anywhere and receive information about the wide variety of experiences Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas resorts offer.

Read More Caesars Entertainment Showcases WeChat Robot Using ObEN’s Humanized A.I. >>

New Year, New Feature: “WeChat Out”

WeChat Out

To ring in the New Year, we’ve launched WeChat Out, a new VOIP feature designed by WeChat to help users call mobile and landlines around the globe at low rates.  WeChat Out is only available for users outside of Mainland China. Currently, the feature is live in the United States, Hong Kong and India, and will cover more countries and regions in the near future.

 

WeChat Out not only provides excellent call quality, but also offers super-low calling rates. With WeChat Out, you can call at any time and anywhere.

 

As our New Year gift to you, we have given you $0.99 USD in calling fees, providing up to 100 minutes of free calls for most numbers around the globe (See Calling Rates in FAQ). Update your version of WeChat and enjoy calling now.

 

A few tips for using WeChat Out:

1. Tap the “+” icon on the top right of the main screen and select WeChat Out

2. Select the mobile contact you’d like to call or dial the number in the dial pad to make a call

Read More New Year, New Feature: “WeChat Out” >>

Our Ultimate Alternative Holiday Gift Guide

The wooden table with a phone and  Christmas decorations. Christmas mockup concept

The holidays are approaching and the scramble to find the perfect gift for your friends is on.

 

They say this is the season of giving, so why not give back to charitable organizations and give your friends and family an alternative gift this year via WeChat?

 

The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy works around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. By following its official account, you can view beautiful nature photos and learn more about habitats and animals.

 

You can also donate directly to The Nature Conservancy, purchase an honorary tribute gift, or plant a billion trees on earth.

 

To follow The Nature Conservancy, search for the WeChat ID “Nature_org.”

Read More Our Ultimate Alternative Holiday Gift Guide >>

Sticker Story –WeChat’s Most Festive Duo Woodie and Snooo

Banner

The inseparable duo, Woodie and Snooo, are here as this year’s holiday sticker set!

 

Woodie and Snooo typically roam around villages around Christmas time, trying to find warmth together. The duo has built a strong relationship with each other by sticking around one another during the cold winter months.

 

Woodie

0815

Woodie the Christmas tree is full of spirit, but usually has more mood swings than Snooo. He is very excitable, but always gets let down because his expectations are higher than the outcomes. As a drama queen, Woodie tends to blow things out of proportion and exaggerate even the smallest things. But at the end of the day, he relies on Snooo to be there for him, especially when it gets cold.

Read More Sticker Story –WeChat’s Most Festive Duo Woodie and Snooo >>

WeChat Invests R50 million Seed Fund in African Tech Startups

WeChat South Africa, Brett LoubsterWeChat is investing R50 million in tech companies supporting local talents and innovations.

 

The fund will be used to identify and support tech-enabled businesses by assisting with rapid market access using the WeChat platform. Access to markets was listed as one of the biggest inhibitors to growth for tech-enabled businesses, in the recent Emerging Companies survey conducted by PWC and Silicon Cape.

 

To coordinate the initiative, tech strategy practice firm, Batstone, has been appointed by WeChat Africa to source and coordinate its early stage investment opportunities.

 

Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa says, ”Our fund aims to provide financial support to businesses so that they can effectively get on the WeChat platform. This will include technical integration and communications tactics across the Naspers’ stable and other suited channels.”

Read More WeChat Invests R50 million Seed Fund in African Tech Startups >>

China CITIC Bank International First Bank to Launch WeChat Pay in Hong Kong

WeChat Pay Citic Hong Kong

China CITIC Bank International Limited (the “Bank” or “CNCBI”) announced this week the launch of WeChat Pay on its WeChat Official Account (“OA”). CNCBI first launched its OA last October. Now CNCBI extends its offerings from instant banking services to WeChat Pay, becoming the first banking institution in Hong Kong to embrace this e-payment solution. Customers purchasing single-trip travel insurance packages from CNCBI via WeChat Pay will get a 50% premium discount, while they can enjoy the convenience of an innovative experience with a variety of banking services.

 

“CNCBI Travel Insurance Packages” via WeChat Pay is available for both existing and non CNCBI customers. All customers simply need to log onto their WeChat accounts and “follow” the CNCBI WeChat OA, tap the “Banking Services” icon on the CNCBI OA, then “Purchase Travel Insurance”. Customers will be redirected to WeChat Pay to settle the payment by VISA or MasterCard to complete the transaction.

 

Read More China CITIC Bank International First Bank to Launch WeChat Pay in Hong Kong >>

We Chat About WeChat #4: Deep Diving into the WeChat Lifestyle by Numbers

WeChat Lifestyle

Following our recent announcement showcasing how WeChat users are increasingly integrating the app into their daily lives, we are now giving you a front-row seat at the original data reveal.

 

Hear directly from our very own Stephen Wang, who manages the International Operations team and Data Analytics team for WeChat’s Core Product Group, as he presents the latest WeChat Lifestyle findings at a recent event in San Francisco.

With 570M daily users, WeChat is paving the way for so much more than just chatting. Stay tuned for more “We Chat About WeChat” podcasts coming soon.

 

If you or someone you know wants to join our team, building the WeChat Lifestyle for millions, we are hiring talented product managers. Click here to apply now: http://www.wechat.com/en/careers.html

South Africa Launches the WeChat Wallet, Your Mobile Payment Solution

WeChat has extended its features in South Africa with the introduction of the WeChat Wallet, a digital wallet service. Like a physical wallet, you can securely store your bank cards and make instant cash payments within WeChat with the new feature.

With WeChat Wallet, users can electronically send cash to friends and family, just like handing cash to a friend to get you lunch or pay for coffee or a drinks at the bar. You can now use up to three chip and PIN debit or credit cards in the WeChat Wallet. Transactions through the cards are verified by Visa and MasterCard security systems, can be saved in the WeChat Wallet.

 

Cards linked to the wallet can also be used to Cash In and increase your wallet’s cash balance, pay for services on WeChat such as airtime, data, electricity, food or pay SnapScan merchants. People can Cash In and Cash Out at Standard Bank ATMs, participating retailers, including SPAR, SPAR Tops and Cambridge Food Stores.

 

In addition, cash can be sent to friends via WeChat – even without the need for a bank account. When registering for the WeChat Wallet, users automatically become Standard Bank Instant Money users, which allows those without bank accounts to enjoy the benefits of the platform. Instant Money vouchers make up the cash balance, which can be topped up via Standard Bank self-service channels.

 

People can also Cash In and Cash Out via Instant Money Vouchers at Standard Bank ATMs and participating retailers, including SPAR, Cambridge, Rhino and Choppies Stores.

Read More South Africa Launches the WeChat Wallet, Your Mobile Payment Solution >>

Western Union Offers New Global Money Transfer Service on WeChat

WeChat has partnered with Western Union, a leader in global payment services, to offer WeChat users in the United States the ability to send and receive money cross-border to 200 countries and territories via the company’s WU Connect platform.

WeChat Western Union Receiver  WeChat Western Union Log in

The partnership marks WeChat as the first social communication application to provide a technology platform to support person-to-person cross-border money transfer capabilities to more than 200 countries and territories. The capability is now available to WeChat users in the United States, with planned rollouts to additional countries in the future.

 

Read More Western Union Offers New Global Money Transfer Service on WeChat >>

Get in the Game with A.S. Roma on WeChat

Soccer season is heating up and we know you’re sitting at the edge of your seats. So we’ve partnered with A.S. Roma to create an Official Account that keeps you up to date on the latest from the club.

 

By following either the English/Italian or Chinese Official Account, you’ll be able to receive daily club news, watch exclusive videos, share photos, and listen to Roma Radio. The highlight of the Official Account is a new fan prediction game.

 

Prediction Game

Before each A.S. Roma game, fans are able to predict the outcome of 15 individual events. They are then awarded between 100-1,000 points for each correct prediction with the highest point earners making it to the top of the leaderboard. The 15 predictions, which range from guessing the half-time score to how many penalties may occur in a game, are split between pre-game, in-game and at half-time.

Prediction Game 2  Prediction Game 4

Read More Get in the Game with A.S. Roma on WeChat >>

We Chat About WeChat #3: An Inside Look at How and Why We Build WeChat

If you’ve ever wondered why your favorite WeChat features were created and others were purposefully left out, this is the podcast for you.

 

WeChat product managers, Stephen Wang and Dan Grover, both entrepreneurs by heart, discuss the values and philosophies the team use to makes product decisions every day and have led to WeChat’s 600 million monthly active users worldwide.

 

Hear how the founding product leaders took risks, betting on the rise of smartphone adoption even before iPhones made it to the China market. Wang and Grover also reveal key challenges and learnings the team has gathered over the years in an effort to reduce people’s stress through the platform. Listen to all this and more below.

If you or someone you know wants to join our team, building the WeChat Lifestyle for millions, we are hiring talented product managers. Click here to apply now: http://www.wechat.com/en/careers.html

New Data Revealed – What Does it Mean to Live the WeChat Lifestyle?

Man With Smartphone At Airport

Curious who the average WeChat user is and what their day looks like? We recently revealed new data giving an inside look at what the WeChat Lifestyle means for our users around the world.

 

An average of 570 million users log in to WeChat each day (September 2015). Additionally WeChat’s daily active users (users who interact with another account) has grown by 64 percent in a single year. Whether it be to purchase goods, track exercise activity, catch up on news or stay connected to friends, users are utilizing WeChat for so much more than just messaging.

 

WeChat users are not only young, but also social, with 60 percent of users between the ages of 15-29 years old and having an average of 128 friends in the app.

 

A Day in the Life of a Typical User

 

With the sophisticated features launched on Weixin, WeChat’s sister product in China, a typical day for a user looks like this.

WeChat Lifestyle_DayDuring their day, they use key features of WeChat and Weixin to make their lives easier:

 

Read More New Data Revealed – What Does it Mean to Live the WeChat Lifestyle? >>