Wechat is eying expansion of their services in Europe. The popular Chat app is set to open their first office in the United Kingdom later this year. In addition they are looking at the possibilities to expand to neighbouring countries such as France and Germany.Wechat, a subsidiary of Tencent (o.a. Jd.com and Tesla), opened their first office in Milan in 2015. This office was primarily focusing on developing marketing and ads for fashion brands from Italy.
Chinese consumers spend an average of 40 minutes a day on Wechat, making it a perfect way for businesses to reach out to their target audience. This group is large as there are 889 million active users so far, with more than half of them using the platform on a daily base.
Wechat is often described as the ‘Chinese Whatsapp’ but that doesn’t really cover all the services provided by the platform. Outside of the normal Chat and timeline functions the platform offers a range of services like food ordering, banking and booking a taxi. The New York Times made a nice video on the application.
Wechat is not coming to Europe to roll out their success formula, even though they tried this in the past. Instead they will focus on attracting European brands and retailers that want to sell their products to the Chinese consumers and tourist visiting Europe. The goal is to provide those companies with the possibility to sell their products through cross-border eCommerce. In that way they are able to open a Wechat Store without needing an official business licence in China.