The technology companies here seem to believe their highest priority is to get China's dynamic Internet players -- chiefly, Alibaba and Tencent -- on their side, talking them into pairing new services with their new technologies.
Intimate and relevant
Unlike most social networks designed for one-to-many broadcast, WeChat is ideal for more intimate and relevant messages to a specific circle of friends. Beyond one-on-one contacts, WeChat offers group messaging. You make your own groups. Those who are simply friends of your friend, but not your own friends, cannot see comments you post to your group.
WeChat's features also include "always on, no logouts." That means you never have to miss a message. No need to occasionally open up this or that app on your PC or smartphone to check on favorite social networks. No need to spend hours scrolling through the inevitable drivel posted on your Facebook wall by strangers and weirdos.
Today, 200 million bank-card users are tied to WeChat.
A story on Quartz.com reported:
In terms of making money from its users, WeChat comes out on top, according to Chao Wang, an analyst with Nomura International in Hong Kong. In contrast to WhatsApp -- whose main revenue source is an annual subscription fee of $1 after one free year of use -- WeChat makes money by selling games and integrating online payment functions that encourage shopping through the app.
It's easy to criticize China's Internet companies for piggybacking on innovations by Western companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, while limiting their Western rivals' services and activities in China. There's some truth to this complaint, but many local executives point out that the speed of innovation by Chinese Internet service companies is lightning fast and exceptionally creative because they know the territory best and they tailor their offerings to the local market. The red envelope app is a great example.
Meanwhile, China's technology companies -- suppliers of chips and boxes -- are also determined to position themselves further up the food chain, much closer to China's Internet companies.
For example, Allwinner, China's leading apps processor supplier for the global tablet market, caught the explosive growth of China's over-the-top (OTT) market in the third quarter of 2013.
China's OTT market flourished when Alibaba developed video apps, promoted OTT boxes, and rolled out free video-on-demand services to consumers via the Internet. Allwinner's dual-core apps processor drives both Alibaba's boxes and Xiaomi's boxes.
In its strategy to promote Hotknot, the company's proprietary proximity technology, MediaTek sees its priority as spreading Hotknot-enabled handsets as far and wide as possible in the Chinese market. The grand plan? MediaTek wants to enable Alibaba and/or Tencent to conduct their e-commerce through Hotknot-enabled handsets.
— Junko Yoshida, Chief International Correspondent, EE Times