Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.
Matthew Brennan from China Channel and a well-known expert on WeChat joined us for an in-depth discussion on the recent launch of the WeChat mini-apps or programs, the philosophy behind them with interpretations on Allen Zhang, the founder of WeChat and their impact on WeChat developers, businesses & brands living within the ecosystem. He also shared his thoughts on how the Chinese Internet are making huge leaps and bounds from online to offline and provide his perspectives to how WeChat dominate messaging and apps in China.
Listen to the episode here or subscribe.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):
- Matthew Brennan, Co-founder of China Channel dot co (chinachannel.co, @MattyBGooner, Linkedin, WeChat:Yowdy-CQ) [0:39]
- How did you start your career? [1:28]
- What brought you to China and eventually set up China Channel there? [2:32]
- Role and coverage of his role in China Channel [4:10]
- From different parts of your career, what are the interesting career lessons you can share? [5:07]
- WeChat Mini Programs [6:14]
- To start, can you give an introduction of WeChat by Tencent in China? [6:30]
- Can you share some recent interesting data from WeChat on their user base, usage? [9:12]
- Recently WeChat has launched Mini Programs, can you briefly describe what they are? [10:40]
- How are mini-programs actually experienced by users? [14:23]
- What is China developer community saying about mini-programs? [16:18]
- Impact of WeChat mini-programs to Alipay [18:20]
- As we understand WeChat has other types of official accounts for businesses: subscription accounts, service & enterprise accounts, what distinguishes mini-programs from them? [19:05]
- How do mini-programs impact the app stores from iOS and Android given that it bypass downloading for the major apps? [23:28]
- How do mini-programs impact the rivalry with the other members of BAT or 2nd tier top Chinese companies such as Qihoo and JD? [25:58]
- What does it mean for businesses that are both leveraging or not leveraging on WeChat mini apps? [27:36]
- Matthew’s thoughts on Snapchat [29:51]: Snapchat hired Oakley’s head of retail operations & Snapchat acquires Israeli AR company
- Matthew’s perspectives on China’s Internet ecosystem vs the rest of the world [31:00]
Additional References on Tencent and WeChat:
- Zhang Xiao Long (Father of WeChat) described the Mini Programs as “What are Mini Programs?: Mini Programs are a type of app that you can immediately use without having to install anything, it achieves the dream of apps “at your fingertips”, users scan a QR code or search and can immediately open an app. Recognizing that so many apps are used once and then abandoned, users will now no longer have to worry about installing too many apps. Apps will be everywhere, ready to use at any time, but you won’t have to download and install them.”
- Tencent Q3 Earnings Report
- WeChat 2016 Data Report
- How to use WeChat mini programs (user guide) by China Channel
- Mini program Case Studies
- Mini program’s technical aspects
- Unofficial WeChat Mini-Program store (in Chinese)
- Mini Program O2O interactions (in Chinese)
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