Amidst a rise in WeChat and Douyin users in China, Apple has decided to open a store on WeChat’s social media platform. According to media reports, the Cupertino-headquartered tech titan launched an online store on the WeChat messaging app in China via its mini-programs.
For those who are not aware, WeChat is currently the dominant messaging app in China. With its several mini-platforms, it also offers services such as e-commerce, live-streaming, and digital payment options to its users – thus ensuring that users can access all the services they need from within WeChat itself instead of downloading numerous apps. With Apple’s new online store, users will be able to buy Apple products, including iPhones (even from the iPhone 14 lineup), iPads, and Macbooks.
Neither Apple nor Tencent (which is the parent company of WeChat) responded to requests for further comment on the matter. Once you place your orders via WeChat, you will be eligible for free shipping, and you can even pay to get your orders delivered within three hours. To add to this, customers can also access a handful of Apple services such as the company’s trade-in program.
Apple’s expansion of its online retail presence in the Asian country – and one of its key markets – via the Chinese “super app” is hardly unexpected. The Cupertino-headquartered tech titan, apart from owning and operating a shop on Alibaba Group’s Tmall online marketplace, had tried to market its products on a livestream in China for the first time a few months ago as well.
The company already has a large and complex supply chain in China, where it assembles nearly all of its products with a $55 billion annual sale coming in. China can produce almost 500,000 iPhones in a single day, even amidst Apple’s recent shifting of its production to other regions, namely India. This new partnership with WeChat adds to Apple’s retail network in China and enhances its accessibility to Chinese consumers, and Apple is obviously hoping that the new store within the WeChat app will also help drive more sales.