Top Story

e4m_logo.png

Home >> Digital >> Article

No plans to bring m-commerce to India, says WeChat

15-March-2014
Font Size   16
No plans to bring m-commerce to India, says WeChat

Tencent’s mobile IM and social network, WeChat, has been growing reasonably well since being launched internationally in 2012. In India, it is being promoted by Ibibo, in which Tencent has a stake. Backed by aggressive promotions, including endorsements by Bollywood actors such as Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan, WeChat is looking to gain a foothold in the Indian IM market.

The application, which is highly popular in China and boasts of almost 100 million users there, has a bouquet of m-commerce services, including online payments, a proposed wealth management solution, virtual credit cards, etc. However, the company feels that the time is not right to bring these services to India. Speaking to exchange4media, Nilay Arora, VP, Marketing & BD, WeChat said, “We are not looking to bring m-commerce to India right now as the market is not mature enough to introduce mobile payments.”

WeChat does partner with brands such as Hungama Music, Cafe Coffee Day and PVR Cinemas by allowing them to build ‘Official Accounts’ on its platform, which can then utilise the WeChat network to offer location-based services, etc., to subscribers. A similar deal with local search engine AskMe allows it to provide location-specific local searches, deals and classifieds.

When quizzed about the business model for India, Arora informed that some revenue came in from in-app and in-game purchases (through WeChat games), but added that revenue is not the focus area right now.

Some analysts have predicted that the Indian m-commerce market will grow at a CAGR of 71.06 per cent between 2012 and 2016. Though WeChat does not reveal country-wise data, Tencent officials said that they had a registered base of more than 200 million users globally as of November 2013 (not including 100 million in China), with approximately 276 million monthly active users. Other mobile IM apps such as Nimbuzz has approximately 25 million users in India with around 150 million globally (as of 2013). WhatsApp claims to have 40 million users in India with about 450 million worldwide.

Meanwhile, in a set-back to Tencent, the China’s central bank asked internet companies like Tencent and Alibaba to halt payments made by bar code scanning with mobile amid security concerns over their verification procedures.
 

Tags WeChat Nilay Arora Tencent Ibibo Alibaba Parineeti Chopra Varun Dhawan Instant messaging m-commerce Abhinn Shreshtha

Vijay Mansukhani, speaks to exchange4media about the resurgence of Onida, the scope of growth of consumer electronics market in India and the reasons why Indian consumer electronics brands don’t compete on a global scale

Projjol Banerjea opens up about hiring Anne Macdonald and GroupM's Rob Norman, and the brand's new identity

Meera Iyer tells exchange4media that in FY 2016/17, bigbasket clocked a revenue of Rs 1,400 crore. The online supermarket currently stands at 70,000 orders a day, with operations in 25 cities.

CMO, Kashyap Vadapalli on the start-up’s marketing play, why it has decided to stay away from IPL and response to its furniture rental apps

Projjol Banerjea opens up about hiring Anne Macdonald and GroupM's Rob Norman, and the brand's new identity

CMO, Kashyap Vadapalli on the start-up’s marketing play, why it has decided to stay away from IPL and response to its furniture rental apps

The aim is to advance the company’s goal of simplifying its business and drive deeper service connectivity to its clients