This article will focus on Airbnb as a case study to demonstrate We Chat’s potential to enable a new business ecosystem on mobile, supported by shorter case studies from Starbucks, Tesla, LINQ Hotel and Durex.
Airbnb first launched its We Chat public account* in September 2014, just one day before the Mid-Autumn Festival — a 3,500-years-old tradition paying tribute to the moon and the harvest season.
Everybody who lives in China knows about and (probably) uses We Chat.
Outside of China, it is almost completely off the radar, and with luck, is associated with the “Chinese version of Whats App.”Despite the image that many people have of China being “the country of cheap rip-offs,” We Chat is not just a bad rip-off; rather, it is an inspiration for Facebook and its Messenger or Snapchat.
We are talking about houses and small mansions that may sell for millions of dollars.
Now why would anybody in their right mind buy a house via a conversation on a messaging app?
In one respect, We Chat official accounts are quite like blogs.
Followers can read posts published by the authors and even comment on them.Not all banks allow people from abroad to sign-up for We Chat payment.Some of them require a Chinese ID and the process gets you stuck.Through We Chat, they managed to gain more than 130k followers on We Chat¹ and 2 million guest arrivals from China at Airbnb listings worldwide. Many American companies looking at the Chinese market have been creative in using We Chat — often times even before they establish a local office.In fact, businesses have used We Chat to 1) spread awareness, 2) enhance engagement, 3) drive revenue and 4) provide value-added services for the vast market in China.We Chat is a concept that may seem strange to a westerner, because it means leaving behind the world of “constellations of specialized applications” which we are used to, for a “one app for everything” model which aims to control the majority of the life uses of the user.