WeChat is struggling in countries beyond China. Despite global ambitions since 2013, investing in big scale marketing strategies such as signing up soccer star Lionel Messi and infiltrating India, and differentiating themselves from Whatsapp, the global push has not amounted to much.
“The network effects of chat apps like WhatsApp and WeChat is what drives adoption; if your friends are users of a particular chat client, you’re more likely to use that client to stay in touch with them,” says Sarah Matthews, associate content marketing manager at US-based Jana, makers of an Android app store aimed at emerging markets.
This means that in Thailand, the majority of people use LINE and Whatsapp, and BBM one of the most popular chat apps in Indonesia. What also hinders Wechat’s growth is ‘The Facebook Trifecta’, consisting of Whatsapp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. This applies to India, as they are the top picks for communication methods right now. Wechat is also trailing behind The Facebook Trifecta in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines and Mexico, all the countries Wechat was aiming at.
They have to go back to the drawing board to figure out the next step for global expansion, if the trifecta can be beaten, that is.
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