Apps, apps, and…. more apps!
The Chinese mobile phone market is saturated with apps, just like anywhere else. Startups such as didi, a taxi up, and numerous apps to order in food are growing exponentially.
Paying bills via social media accounts is another growing trend. Wechat is China’s biggest social media app, used by some 1.1 billion active accounts, 818 million monthly users, and 570 daily users. I’m one of them.
Wechat is like a mix between Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Pinterest all rolled into one fabulous app. You can text, leave audio messages and even video call your friends via Wechat. You can post – like Facebook – pictures and comments, and leave happy faces and comments on your friend’s posts.
China used to be the biggest name-card distributer in the world – at social occasions, people would ceremoniously hand out name cards. Now, people swap Wechat accounts.
Mobile banking has come to Wechat. You can even send your friends Wechat money – using a digital version of the Chinese ‘red packet’ tradition where people give each other red packets with money inside. At social gatherings and banquets, people will play a ‘red packet’ game. Instead of a physical red packet, people send each other digital ones, via Wechat. Friends will form a Wechat group, send red packets and the first one to click on it wins the cash!
Along with Wechat money there is Alipay and together they form the biggest mobile payment system in China. Now the banks are trying to get in on the lucrative payment system, by issuing their own mobile app. Like elsewhere, digital innovations are often ahead of laws regulating them. China however is ahead of the game – in January laws were issued to ensure that monies belonging to third parties go into a seperate account, so that the service providers, like Wechat and Alipay, arent making interest on monies belonging to others.
Stay tuned for the next post on dating apps in China.
Wechat statistic sources: dedramblings.com/index.php/wechat-statistics
Photo credit : http://adage.com/article/digital/chinese-mobile-app-wechat-shake-shakes-social-crm/239938/