In 2010, Zhang Xiaolong, the founder and distributor of famous Foxmail, held a press conference at the office of Tencent Guangzhou to form a development team of 10 engineers to develop Wechat, the world’s largest super application software. At that time, Tencent’s flagship product QQ (a desktop communication software) was very popular. The simple design of WeChat is in stark contrast to the chaotic design of QQ. In 433 days, Weixin’s first users exceeded 100 million. After this historic leap, WeChat decided to launch products on a global scale. Since Tencent has already established a presence in India through its travel portal Ibibo, India has naturally become the preferred market test.

In early 2012, Tencent established a team of more than ten employees in Gurgang to carry out large-scale marketing activities. WeChat is the first mobile app to launch TV commercials in India. We did not pay any fees. An ex-US former WeChat executive who asked not to be named said. Movie stars Parinetti Chopra and Warren Davan are listed as brand spokesmen. WeChat launched advertising campaigns on TV, radio and television. shopping center. Initially, WeChat attracted the attention of the public. In the advertising campaign, we won about 25 million users. The former executive said that WeChat is the highest-ranking app in the Google Play store for 45 consecutive days. It seems that WeChat has achieved success in India.

Indian actor Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan’s WeChat TV commercials, but WeChat’s development is like a roller coaster on the playground, and it has slipped all the way. The number of application uninstallations is increasing and there is no user stickiness. Soon, there was even news that Wechat might be blocked by the Indian government, which is the beginning of it. India’s decline. Factor Daily, the Indian technology news site, contacted Tencent and the Wechat team to try to get some information about time, but did not receive any response.

Why WeChat does not survive in India

To be listed in India, Tencent has a team of 3-4 developers, 6-7 marketers and two senior managers from the Ibibo department. Weixin’s product design is fully in line with Zhang Yimou’s vision. There are many very popular features in China, but these features are not popular among Indian users. For example, when WeChat adds a friend, it must be accepted by the other party before it can start chatting. Instead, WhatsApp can initiate a chat with anyone in its address book at any time, as long as others have installed WhatsApp. You should be familiar with each other. Weixin forced friends to confirm the pattern very similar to Facebook, even today – if the other party does not accept your friend’s request, you will not see the other party’s private content. With the friend’s web platform, its timeline function is very similar to Facebook’s timeline, which brings privacy issues to users.

But this setup makes chat interactions more resistant, especially in group chats. Chat groups are usually initiated by people (administrators) who invite others to join the group via phone number. But in India, this feature doesn’t seem to be smooth – administrators must add friends and become acc. And Weixin has no problem in China, because when Weixin was launched, Tencent QQ in the desktop era had 750 million active users, and QQ users only need to log in to Weixin to pass all QQ social relationships.

Himanshu Gupta, former market strategy director for WeChat, India

Another feature of WeChat allows users to locate nearby WeChat users and send friend requests. The first time a user explores the functionality of an app, many people try nearby human features, which by default open location sharing and share locations with nearby people. Le, including strangers. But once location sharing is turned on, it’s not so easy to shut down.

Women receive a lot of male chat information, which is the main reason why many women uninstall applications. Gupta said that there may be no such problems in China. He also said that when they report feedback to China, they may not receive the attention of the Chinese due to cultural differences. Although there are many problems, Wechat has lasted for about a year, and most users have switched to WhatsApp. In February 2018, WhatsApp, a Facebook app with 200 million active users, supported 10 Indian languages ​​and currently holds the largest share of the Indian instant messaging market.

Suman Prasad, a food and lifestyle blogger, has been using Wechat since he graduated from college in 2013. He says many of his friends are using group chat, animated mapping, and mass messaging. As a brand, Weixin has great potential, but I don’t think they really understand the Indians’ ideas. So they can’t grasp the preferences of young people. When WeChat was first introduced in India, the app itself was only 40MB. At the time, the mainstream mobile phones in India were less than 200MB. Due to storage limitations, WeChat encountered an obstacle at first. The real enemy of Wechat’s decline is that it is only Androi. D and IOS versions, at the time in India, Symbian and BlackBerry had a large market share.

In 2013, when WeChat was most active in India, there were news reports that the Indian government planned to ban WeChat. A former Wechat executive who asked not to be named said that the recession began when the government would ban the company’s rumors. Many people don’t even know that Wechat is listed in India. This is a Chinese application. What they saw was the promotion of WeChat by Varun Dhawan and Prineat Chopra.

With more than 1 billion users in the ecosystem surrounding Weixin, Weixin is a versatile application in China – able to take a taxi, order a meal, buy a movie ticket or even buy a drug.

Gupta said that in terms of localization of India, in addition to increasing the localization of the appearance of the festival and providing technical support platforms for some Indian partners, Tencent also focused on signing contracts with major brands in an attempt to build an ecosystem like China. Systems and products. Discount on WeChat to give users a discount. But the key to signing more brands is to increase the number of users and the time of use.

It’s hard for a brand to enter the chat platform. Facebook’s Messenger app is still struggling. It requires a large user base, enough time to use, and market segmentation for users, so that the brand can promote the target user group. The user brings the visc. Thanks to its predecessor, QQ, Weixin has become China’s most popular chat app with millions of user data.

Indian urban mobility expert, former US President Rajarshi Sahai

Sahai said that for Chinese companies backed by British American Tobacco, the Chinese market has always been a core business, while other markets are only expanding, so there is a bit of inertia against other Indian competitors. However, it is clear that the Indian market cannot be treated like the markets of other countries. Sajith Pai of venture capital firm Blume Ventures said that Indian consumers are divided into three main groups: the first group, about 100 million people, mainly urban and affluent people, is the main target of luxury e-commerce brands; the second group, About 100 million people are enterprising; the remaining one. Billions of people are still struggling, people on the poverty line.

Pai said that some international companies including Apple, Facebook and Instagram have noticed this. They see India as a secondary market, with the main target of the first group being 100 million people. But Chinese companies like Weixin are different, targeting 100 million people in the second group, including rural India, emerging Internet users and young people. Both Hareit and UCBrowser are training new Internet users in India, and they have a better chance of survival in India because they know more about new users in India.

However, China is a monolingual country dominated by the government, and the cultures in different regions are very similar. India is totally different. Its culture is diverse, there is no common language, no urban structure, and the difference in economic development is so great that it is difficult to deal with the Indian market in the same way, that is, Tencent or British American Tobacco.

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