Deep Dive 23 minutes Premium

Deep Dive: WeChat— From Messaging App to Profitable Ecosystem

Executive Summary

  • With no apparent competitors in sight, WeChat, the flagship mobile instant-messaging platform and social network of internet services giant Tencent, holds court in China. Coupled with differentiable features, WeChat is on track to continue increasing user engagement and retention.
  • Within the retail world, WeChat has been, and continues to be, a major source of disruption—bridging social media and e-commerce.
  • In this report, we highlight three key product differentiators that have led to WeChat’s dominance in China: i) in social media—Moments and Official Accounts; ii) in mobile payments—WeChat Pay; and iii) in mini apps—its Mini Programs.
  • Despite its dominance, WeChat could face challenges in expanding further: decelerating growth of its user base in China and the capacity threshold of its app.


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