Tencent Pushes to Challenge TikTok via WeChat Channels

UTC by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Tencent Pushes to Challenge TikTok via WeChat Channels
Photo: Depositphotos

In addition to challenging TikTok, Tencent also connects its products with Channels to help creators to stream content.

Chinese multinational and entertainment company Tencent Holdings is set to challenge ByteDance’s dominance with its own TikTok. A source revealed that Tencent had created a team of content creators to launch its own short video platform TikTok, which launched in the Chinese market in 2016 and has exploded to reach more global audiences over the years.

Tencent Relies on WeChat to Develop Own TikTok

China’s WeChat Channels hosted an online concert during last year’s summer that featured the Backstreet Boys. The boy band performed on a stage in Pennsylvania and about 44 million views across different locations tuned in to be entertained. This show is another event conducted by WeChat owner Tencent to promote its app’s short-video platform. In addition to the BackStreet Boys, Tencent has also featured the likes of Westlife and Taiwan’s Jay Chou for live-streamed concerts as it makes efforts to challenge TikTok. Meanwhile, the tech giant’s founder Pony Ma has referred to the platform as “the hope of the company”.

A senior analyst at research firm Analysys, Liao Xuhua, said:

“Tencent hopes it can turn Channels into the next WeChat Pay. It has a shot at it. But it is also going to be difficult.”

Some reliable sources who are familiar with Tencent mentioned how they have continually discussed Channels’ importance within the multinational company. Channels have been of significant advantage to Tencent, which experienced some hits last year due to stricter gaming legislation and the persistent coronavirus pandemic. The video and photo public feed recorded explosive growth in 2022 as its total number of views increased more than 3X. At the same time, the number of daily active creators and video uploads went up X2.

WeChat Channels Growth

Tencent added that gross merchandise value (GMV) from live-streaming e-commerce popped by over 800% on WeChat Channels. However, the company did not state the specific figures recorded on GMV. Per a LatePost report on Channels’ daily transactions, the platform’s sales reached over 100 million yuan (15 million) in September 2022 for the first time. This signifies an annual rate of around 36 billion yuan.

In addition to challenging TikTok, Tencent also connects its products with Channels to help creators to stream content. The company integrated its Tencent Meetings with the platform, which will help hosts to conduct interviews and live streams on Channels. In addition, the multinational conglomerate lowered the monetization threshold on Channels. While Tencent allows users with as low as 10 followers to earn through advertisement. You have to have over 10,000 followers to start monetizing on TikTok.

Tencent resident Martin Lau revealed in November that Channels advertising was on its way to reaching 1 billion yuan in 2022 Q4.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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