Has WeChat faded off? Which social media channel is replacing it?

Jan 19, 2023 | Ethnic communications, Our Insights

What is WeChat?

WeChat has been one of the most effective communication channels among the Chinese community over the last decade, not only in the China region but also for the Chinese people who live around the world.

WeChat is an all-in communication channel. Its powerful functions, including chatting, networking, and socialising, online payment, and much more, have made WeChat undoubtedly the most favourable option for Chinese staying connected, and for brands collaborating with their Chinese consumers, from content marketing to the sales and promotions.

However, with the dynamic changes in the digital media landscape in the Chinese language using platforms, and the emergence of short videos, the superior and unattainable status of WeChat in Chinese language use communication channel has been challenged, and rumours about WeChat have “died” has spread swiftly.

Is this rumour coming true? If so, what other channels could be replaced?

Has WeChat faded off?

In Aotearoa Chinese community, WeChat is still the primary communication channel, albeit various channels are emerging in different age groups. On the one hand, it is a communication channel for chatting both in text and audio, as well as video, to communicate with their friends, families, and social networks from the local Chinese community and China. On the other hand, they usually subscribe to various Chinese ethnic media outlets and WeChat accounts in New Zealand to get access to local news and information. News and information are usually translated either by ethnic media outlets or created by communication agencies with creative copywriting which the Chinese community tailors the content. It provides a significant opportunity for New Zealand’s brands to build and maintain a collaborative connection with the Chinese community.

At the same time, other apps and communication channels are increasingly consumed by the Chinese community, such as RED, Douyin, and Bilibili. What are they? What are their main functions? Are they replacing WeChat for socialising and communications in the Chinese community? In the following sections, we will take a glance.

What other channels are in use for the Chinese community in New Zealand?

RED, known as Little Red Book (小红书), is equivalent to Instagram and Amazon, as it carries a mixed function of creating content and setting up e-commerce platforms, from individuals (KOL) to the brand (organisation). According to the latest data, most users are female, with more than 2 million users. Also, most users on that platform tend to access high-quality content, not only in copywriting but also in image designing.

From our insight on RED in the Chinese community in New Zealand, users in New Zealand tend to access local lifestyle information by subscribing to some local KOC (Key Opinion Consumers) to get the latest lifestyle information from their posts. Due to the constrained shipping conditions in New Zealand, users rarely use it as an e-commerce platform for online shopping. They often refer to KOC’s posts to look for local products, restaurants, and stores, which we call 种草 (seeding) and 长草 (growing). In turn, followers also could avoid trying some products, restaurants, and services from KOC’s recommendations, which we call 拔草 (weeding).

Douyin (抖音), Bilibili (哔哩哔哩), and Kwai (快手), which are all focused on content creation in short videos, are equivalent to TikTok. From our insight, we have noticed an increasing trend to use these two platforms for Chinese users in the New Zealand community. They tend to follow, watch, and share short videos with their Chinese community in China; accordingly, their following interests are not limited to the New Zealand market but instead to various marketing around the world.

In short, the Chinese social media landscape is dynamically changing.

It is essential for you to precisely select the best communication channel to effectively communicate with your target audiences, depending on their demographic profile.

Which channel is ideal for you to reach the Chinese community in New Zealand? Come and talk with us!

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