Two months ago we reported that WeChat was developing a solution for business. An API for businesses to develop customized accounts has been out. Named Enterprise Account, the new system enables features for employee management and collaboration current WeChat group doesn’t have, including setting up sub-groups for business units, sending bulk messages (audio, video, image, and document files), among others.
Each sub-group can accommodate up to 1000 employees. Multi-media files uploaded by a company will be kept on WeChat servers for three days.
The move isn’t surprising to many. Many Chinese companies including us at TechNode are using WeChat on a daily basis for internal communications.
While many Chinese enterprise social services started off copying Yammer, many would later make their products more similar to WeChat for almost all Chinese know how to use WeChat.
I asked a few of them what they’d do if WeChat rolled out a solution for businesses. All of them said they’d not be afraid. One of them argued that developers at big companies had no idea how to develop a social service to their needs, so they need a third party to develop everything for them; another one argued that a number of businesses, especially tech companies, would be worried about information security given Tencent, WeChat’s parent company, has full access to all the information; a third argued that WeChat wouldn’t be considerate enough or care that much about businesses’ needs that they’d just offer basic services. All of them sound reasonable.
There’s a couple of major players in enterprise social network or software for business in general in China. Mingdao is one of the well-known enterprise social services that is still pretty much like Yammer. Of course it has developed many features tailored to Chinese businesses. Facishare started as a Yammer-like service but then would decide to become China’s Salesforce.