When Tencent started during the 2014 CCTV New Year show to promote giving red envelopes online, few realized it was the successful kick-off what is now known as WeChat Pay, says WeChat expert Matthew Brennan to the JingDaily. Some luxury brands did not like the concept though: “The idea of a discount communicates value and is generally not an incentive that luxury brands want to be associated with.”
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Much attention goes to the epic battle between China’s internet giants Alibaba and Tencent. But WeChat expert Matthew Brennan does not see why one of their payment systems, Alipay and WeChat Pay, should defeat the other. He sees room enough for both, he tells That’s Magazine.
China’s internet authorities have strengthened the rules on VPN’s – popular tools to jump the country’s online censorship. Nevertheless, getting online with a VPN is still relatively easy, says internet expert Matthew Brennan to The News Lens, but he is not giving a guarantee that will still be the case in one year time.
If at any place the switch from brick-and-mortar is going fast, it is China. Permanent online consumers comment, exchange information, and buy 24/7. When you sit down in a restaurant, you first ask the code for the free wifi, before the menu. When you travel abroad, you constantly discuss with friends and family back how, what to buy, or what not to buy.
From a cash country, where transactions were done by moving plastic bags with money between bank branches, China has turned into a leading force in fintech or financiel technology. Mobile payment are standard. Bitcoins and blockchain technology found in China early adopters. Social media have – more than anywhere in the world – adopted payment systems to facilitate online trade.
Tencent’s WeChat announced a record number of monthly users over Springfestival passing one million. But WeChat expert Matthew Brennan expects that growth in numbers reached its top, and WeChat will be adding more functionality to expand its business, he tells CNNMoney.
China is leading the way in digitalizing the consumer experience in retail, but both major competitors – Alibaba and Tencent – have different retail strategies, says WeChat expert Matthew Brennan to the News Lens. Alibaba focuses on the offline experience, Tencent’s WeChat will stay online. In 2018 the battle will be on mobile payment, he adds.
Handing out hongbao’s when staff returns from Spring festival is one way how Chinese companies retain staff. WeChat expert Matthew Brennan joined Tencent’s CEO Tony Ma handing out hongbao’s last Friday in Shenzhen to some of this 43,000 employees, he reports on his LinkedIn page.