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  • Writer's pictureYunzhou Li

WeChat is scrambling for a piece of China’s booming short video market

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

China's short video market with over 800 million short video users, could now get a further boost from WeChat, which has upwards of 1.1 billion monthly users.

WeChat Keen On Short Videos

After testing for two weeks in June, WeChat officially launched a feature for users to post 30-second videos to their Moments feed via the Tencent video app Weishi, according to KrAsia.

Normally, WeChat Moments only supports videos of up to 15 seconds when uploaded from a user’s phone gallery.

This move shows WeChat’s ambition to scramble into China’s booming short video market, which claims to have over 800 million users, most of whom are split between the two biggest short videos apps Kuaishou and Douyin.

At the same time, WeChat unblocked links shared from short video app Kuaishou in June after blocking short video app links for over a year as a result of a government censorship. Shared videos from Kuaishou could now play directly in users’ WeChat Moments newsfeeds as embedded videos.

There’s no question that China’s short video market would get a further boost from Weishi’s tie-up with WeChat, which has upwards of 1.1 billion monthly users, of whom 750 million check their Moments on a daily basis.

What Does It Mean For Marketers

For marketers, it is crucial to watch this growing trend but more importantly to understand the reason behind it, which sees “the quality in branding and content matters more in China”.

Content has not always been a priority on the China marketing playbook. KOLs, celebrities, social media ads and live streaming have been key focuses in recent years, as companies have sought quick results. For many international brands, the China content has been “a simple translation” without the understanding of the market, the culture and the consumer insights.

In a report published by Totem Media earlier this year, both follower numbers and engagement rates on WeChat and Weibo have been dropping for brands that don’t do content well. The steady rise of short video and video apps and a shift in information consumption habits among millennials/GenZ, has seen the value of content jump. Video content which connects with audiences, around topics they are interested in, will help move brands forward more swiftly.

It is back to what we love to say, “Content is King”. Lucky for some and challenging for others, China’s fast changing digital media landscape and technologies allow marketers to be more creative than ever before.

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