The WeChat Audience in Australia
China has a ban on many social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Statista.com reports that WeChat has surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, becoming the fourth biggest chat application in the world. With over 500,000 Australian residents born in China, it comes as no surprise that Australian businesses now utilise the app to target Chinese audiences within Australia.
The WeChat “Super App” offers personal & group messaging, display/image stories, news feeds, translation, payment functions and taxis/planes/trains/restaurant booking management. It even replaces back cards with its “Tap As You Go” functionality.
The Chinese government does not need a search warrant in order to seize any citizen’s property or private data. This means free access to all data regarding the above app functions may be utilised in the future. That’s a lot of data!
WeChat is extremely censored. The app has two bots which run, one which censors images, and another which censors text. The bots relate these with blacklists and then prevent your ads from running. The “Vetting” process often takes two weeks, and is very particular. For example, you can’t use the Cantonese word that translates in English to “Such”. On the other hand, this does encourage high levels of brand safety.
WeChat is definitely a helpful tool to target a Chinese audience. For brands hoping to tap into this platform we recommend setting up an account and posting organic and paid content early and building your audience. Having higher engagement / followers versus your competitors can influence decision making for this affluent and hard to reach audience.