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Victoria

Event Recap - WeChat Masterclass: Believe the Hype!

07 June 2017

Understanding WeChat and how to effectively utilise the app as a communication and stakeholder management tool was the focus of our WeChat Masterclass with Tom Parker, Partner, China Advisory at Bastion S+GO. Held at International Chamber House on 7 June, 80 guests learned about WeChat’s functions, as well as the opportunity it presents for businesses.

Followed by a brief welcome by ACBC Victoria CEO, Ms Virginia Birrell, Tom began by providing insight into what the WeChat app is, who uses it, and why it is so unique.

One of WeChat’s key features is integrated user experience. It is more than just a messaging app. It provides the combined functionality of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Skype, Uber, Amazon and even Tinder. This as well as WeChat’s ability to innovate and commercialise tradition (红包), recognise culture in business, and transform relationships, all make the app so unique. WeChat has over 899 million active monthly users with over 90% in China. 3 million monthly active users are in Australia, with 37% in Melbourne. There are 2,200 new users in Australia every day.

Businesses have a number of options when setting up their own official WeChat account, namely a subscription account or a service account. Tom outlined the differences between these accounts, stressing the need to tailor the tone of your offering depending on the account type. Tom continued by explaining how different entities operating in and with China can set up these accounts. Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises or Joint Ventures operating in China can set up an account at a fairly low price, while companies in Australia need to go through a third party, meaning a slightly higher account set up cost. 

Managing an official WeChat account and using it for marketing was Tom’s next point of focus. The app can be used in various ways, as an information portal, for advertising, influencer engagement, as well as customer relations.

Tom concluded his presentation by discussing China’s online influencers, a number of case studies and WeChat Pay. This was followed by further networking opportunities and chances to ask questions.

ACBC Victoria kindly thanks Tom for his extremely informative masterclass, and we warmly extend our thanks to all those who attended and added to the interactive nature of the session. We also thank our wine gift sponsor, Brown Brothers.