Tencent recently surpassed Alibaba as the most valuable Chinese tech company, in large part due to WeChat. Advertising revenue for the social platform has grown 80% year on year, and Tencent’s profit in the past quarter was higher than all of Alibaba’s revenue.
The top social platform in the country, WeChat is also one of the most important platforms for brands. Just 62% of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Beer China have localized sites, but 81% have WeChat accounts, testifying to the platform’s predominance.
Beer brands primarily use WeChat to promote local campaigns and link to e-tailers, and a handful also take advantage of the more innovative features that differentiate the platform from its counterparts in the US. For example, Tsingtao earns a ranking of Gifted in the study thanks to its robust WeChat loyalty program and store, alongside heavy investments in web advertising.
However, most brands have not yet experimented with WeChat’s more advanced features. Less than 10% operate WeChat stores, and only 18% use the platform to reply to customer service inquiries. Given the increasing importance of social commerce as a driver for sales in China, these brands may be missing an opportunity.