The volume of users using WeChat – the social media ‘super app’ that rules the roost in Chinese ecommerce – was up 23% this Chinese New Year compared to the last, with UK and international businesses seeing a steady rise in activity as they become more creative with how they engage Chinese shoppers.
Data released by WeChat, the social media platform owned by Tencent, shows offline payment transaction volume of users during Chinese New Year increased by 23% year-on-year (YoY), reaching a peak on the last day of the holiday. The number of consultations received by enterprises through “WeChat customer service” increased by nine times the amount of 2022.
Consumption enthusiasm was also reflected in the trading orders of WeChat’s Mini Program, which enables brands to manage sales and customer service in real-time and connect with customers through the platform. Orders for travel, catering, retail, and movies increased by 76%, 40%, 32% and 27% respectively, compared to last year.
Digital red envelopes on WeChat remained a popular way to express New Year’s greetings. During the holiday, users sent over 4 billion red envelopes through WeChat, including 600 million especially for New Year’s greetings. WeChat added random greetings this year with “Happy Chinese Year of the Rabbit”, “Rolling in It” and “Full Blessings” among the top three preferred by users.
The number of short videos related to Spring Festival released by users on WeChat surged by nearly 170% YoY. Hometown life, family reunions and holiday foods were the topics most recorded by users. In addition, this year’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala was broadcast on WeChat again, attracting over 190 million viewers.
Dowson Tong, President at Cloud and Smart Industries Group at Tencent says: “As the first Chinese New Year after the lifting of Covid-19 lockdown, there seems to be a collective recovery and a certain vitality in consumption for many industries. The data shows clear signs of economic recovery with active merchant transactions, a surge in online enquiries, transactions at popular tourist attractions and a continued rise in cinema outings.
“Something that differed this year, was the fact that apart from sending out red packets as in previous years, people were able to collect government-issued consumer vouchers via WeChat to help the economy recover quickly after the epidemic.
“For many UK brands, Chinese New year and other key dates in the calendar are of vital importance to winning over and building their presence with Chinese consumers. International brands are becoming more efficient and creative in customer engagement. We’re seeing brands maximizing on the availability and use of the suite of digital tools within the WeChat ecosystem.
“For many businesses, their WeChat strategy has transformed from a “nice to have” to a “must have” pillar. WeChat Pay, Tencent Cloud, Social Ads, and Mini Program have become integral tools for companies to retain and expand their customer pool.”