Apple Debuts Store on Chinese Super App WeChat

Apple has reportedly begun selling its devices via the Chinese social media platform WeChat.

WeChat is owned by Tencent and is considered China’s leading messaging app. Apple will sell iPhones, iPads and other products, via the super app, according to multiple published reports Tuesday (July 11), including Reuters.

The news comes at a time when Chinese companies are competing to become the country’s top “everything app” as consumers turn to social media to shop.

ByteDance, which gets most of its $80 billion yearly income from social media ad sales, has been testing its Douyin app, which features streaming videos and messaging.

The company has also begun expanding its offerings to include food and grocery delivery in metropolitan centers such as Beijing and Shanghai to capture a larger share of the Chinese market “and challenge WeChat’s dominance as the go-to app for everything from messaging to shopping,” PYMNTS reported in June.

WeChat is the only app in China with more than 1 billion active users, and just one of five apps across the planet to reach that milestone. The company’s WeChat Pay has more than 900 million users, surpassing Ant Group’s Alipay as China’s most popular payment service.

Apple’s push into China comes as the country is seeking retail opportunities in other markets. April brought the news that the company’s sales in India had jumped nearly 50%.

The company this spring promoted the launch of new stores in India, with CEO Tim Cook visiting the country to christen India’s first brick-and-mortar Apple stores.

Meanwhile, PYMNTS research showed that platforms like WeChat remain an effective way for brands to connect with their user base, despite threats like the online turmoil at Twitter or a possible government ban on TikTok.

As of March, the average share of consumers taking part in social media activities was 63%, and the number has been above 60% for more than a year.

“Possible access to nearly two-thirds of all U.S. consumers is an opportunity that no brand would be excited to pass up,” PYMNTS wrote in June. “Brands, despite concerns about navigating the turmoil of individual platforms, may not have many alternatives besides strategizing to avoid these hiccups and maximize their reach.”

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