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? >>

Sticker Story – Bubble Pup is Back and Cuter Than Ever!

WeChat Bubble Pup

They say that laughter is the best medicine and we believe that cuteness can be too, so we’ve brought back the adorable pup for a second time around with the Bubble Pup 2 sticker pack. That’s right, your favorite puppy and his new sidekick are up to new tricks just for you.

 

Green Bubble Pup

 

Green Pup seems to always be getting the short-end of the stick. Although he is very alert and astute, he always falls for White Pup’s pranks. But even through all jokes, he still cheers her on, sending flowers when she’s down. He’s a true friend who is around in both good times and bad.

Bubble Pup 2Bubble Pup 3

Read More Sticker Story – Bubble Pup is Back and Cuter Than Ever! >>

Celebrating WeChat India World Sticker Day at Comic-Con Hyderabad

Last month, WeChat landed at Comic-Con Hyderabad where we announced the winners of the WeChat Sticker Challenge and celebrated ‘World Sticker Day’ in India.

 

“World Sticker Day is dedicated to the world of emoticons and stickers, which have become an integral part of our modern digital lives,”said Nilay Arora, Country Head and Vice President of WeChat India. “Stickers can now replace a thousand emotions without typing a single word.”

 

On the Ground at Comic-Con 

 

At Comic-Con Hyderabad, over 10,000 people came to experience all the fun at the WeChat booth and posed for photos with popular life-sized local stickers: Nautanki Baba, Mona, Jabbar, Narad Muni & Bong babe.

India World Sticker Day 1

The winners of the WeChat World Sticker Challenge were also announced after thousands of students across the country participated and submitted their creative designs.

 

And the Grand Prize Winner is….

Read More Celebrating WeChat India World Sticker Day at Comic-Con Hyderabad >>

Available Now – WeChat 6.3.5 for iOS

WeChat Banner_Video and Voice Call for Groups

Staying connected with all your friends just got easier with video calling – now for groups. With WeChat 6.3.5 for iOS, WeChatters can start a video call in a group chat with up to nine people or choose audio only for group voice calls. We’re also introducing Group Notices and new enhancements to the WeRun-WeChat Official Account fitness tracker.

 

Video & Voice Call for Groups

Talk face-to-face with up to nine friends all at once with FREE video calling now for groups. Simply choose to turn off “Video” for a group voice call.

  • Within a group chat, click the + menu and select “Video Call.”
  • Choose members to join.

Wait for friends to accept your invite and then start chatting.

Video Call From Group Chat Select Members for Group Video Call WeChat Video Call for Groups

Read More Available Now – WeChat 6.3.5 for iOS >>

We Chat About WeChat #2 – Interview with Product Manager Dan Grover

On the second episode of “We Chat About WeChat,” our new podcast series, we talk with Dan Grover, product manager in charge of WeChat’s Mac app.  Hear about his exciting journey joining the WeChat team from Silicon Valley and his take on the WeChat product philosophy.

More About Dan Grover

Dan is a WeChat product manager, entrepreneur and explorer. He has created multiple successful music apps and companies. After selling his music app startup to Steinway & Sons, he worked for other startups, and eventually joined the WeChat U.S. team in 2013 before moving to work with the core WeChat team in China in 2014. Dan also became known in the mobile industry when he published a widely noted article discussing Chinese mobile app trends.

 

Next week you’ll have a chance to meet more exciting members of the WeChat product team and hear their stories that make WeChat what it is today.

 

We Chat About WeChat #1 – Interview with Product Manager Stephen Wang

Get an inside look behind WeChat in our new podcast series, “We Chat About WeChat.” Through the series, you’ll be able to learn more about the app creators and the product design philosophy that makes WeChat one of the world’s most used social communications platforms.

 

In our first podcast, we talk with Stephen Wang, who manages the International Operations team and Data Analytics team for WeChat’s Core Product Group. Stephen was born and grew up in the United States and later moved to China in 2005. Prior to joining WeChat in 2013, Stephen was an entrepreneur of multiple Internet companies, most notably the co-founder and former head of popular film web site Rotten Tomatoes.

 

Learn how he grew to love creating Internet products and why he decided to join the WeChat team after over a decade in the tech startup space.

Be sure to stay tuned Thursday for our next podcast where we interview our very own Dan Grover, product manager of WeChat’s Mac app.