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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Introducing Jing Daily’s WeChat Edition newsletter, now weekly and expanded. Here we share the best WeChat campaigns, flag what’s going viral, and cherry-pick the best of our content partners and analyze the top news.

This week: WeChat is making it easier for Chinese travelers to go abroad...but it’s making business harder for its social-media rivals. For retailers and brands, we have a cheat sheet to boosting mini-program’s SEO rankings. And read on if you want to know who’s “winning” Chinese New Year on WeChat.
What's New
The latest WeChat news gathered from top sources

WeChat users can now apply for a visa to 32 countries through a mini-program. The Chinese government’s Joint Visa Center and WeChat introduced a new mini-program which allows Chinese travelers to seek visas online. A new test center in Shanghai will help talk visitors through the process, and may be the first of many. Read More

Why does WeChat block competitors, while Facebook doesn’t? On January 15, WeChat blocked three would-be competitors as they launched, going to considerable lengths to retain dominance in the social-messaging space. Such moves are far less common in the Western tech industry. How come? WalktheChat co-founder Thomas Graziani looks into why Western companies tend to build products while Chinese companies build ecosystems — and which works better. Read More

Bytedance’s Snapchat clone isn’t a WeChat killer. But, Technode warns, Tencent should worry. Duoshan is a newly-launched messaging app from Bytedance that allows users to upload short videos that disappear in 72 hours. (Think: Snapchat East). WeChat blocked it right out of the box. Chen Lin, chief executive of a related Bytedance company, says the two apps are very different. Duoshan is only for “…intimate communications, letting people with close relationships communicate with each other without any pressure,” a clear dig at the tendency for WeChat users to mix their personal and professional contacts. Read More 

Savvy SEO for mini-programs. A common way for WeChat users to discover and find mini-programs is through WeChat’s search tab. But did you know you can design your mini-program to rank higher in the search results? For example, the more the name of your mini-program matches the keywords you set, the higher you rank and the more exposure you receive. For more tactics, check out this cheat sheet. Read More 
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Campaign of the Week
Recent noteworthy WeChat campaigns and case studies


Gucci Celebrates Lunar New Year With Extravagant Pig Post

Italian luxury brand Gucci is hands-down the winner of this year’s slew of Lunar New Year WeChat campaigns. It has captured the holiday spirit by with tons of witty pig-motif pictures, articles and goods. Many feature Disney’s three little pigs on products like a wallet, a watch, handbags, and sneakers. 

On January 10th, the brand published a WeChat article, titled “The Gucci Pig Family,” filled with cute pigs photographed by British artist/filmmaker Frank Lebon. The post linked to a mini-program where consumers could buy Gucci goods as well as download fun CNY-inspired chat stickers. It has been a hit with netizens. “Such creative copywriting, the products are too cute,” remarked one user named A Ju, while another commented, “Who says luxury brands can never do justice with a zodiac theme? Just look at Gucci.” So far, the post has garnered more than 100,000 page views.

Read More: The 7 Cutest (and Smartest) ‘Year of the Pig’ WeChat Campaigns 
What's Viral on WeChat
The hot topics everyone's talking about


The ‘Peppa Pig’ Phenomenon 

This week, the heartwarming short video “What’s Peppa Pig (啥是佩奇)” has garnered a stunning 835 million views. The video features one adorable grandfather’s quest to decipher his grandson’s gift request: “Peppa”. He eventually finds out from his neighbor that, when an air blower (a tool commonly used in the Chinese countryside) is painted pink, it looks just like Peppa Pig. 

Turns out the video is a promotional video for the movie “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year”, opening February 5. Peppa, star of an animated series made in the UK, “is, arguably, doing more for brand Britain [in China] than the Beatles,” according to the BBC.

Watch the video
Read how Taobao sellers are already taking advantage of this sensation
Influencer Spotlight
Provided by The China Influencer Update

GQ Was the Top-Earning Official Account of 2018

In 2018, as many Official WeChat Accounts plateaued, GQ’s (the Chinese iteration of U.S. magazine GQ) thrived. Why so popular? Reading GQ’s articles is like chatting with a very funny friend. The tone of voice is humorous and ironic (in a sponsored post for Google Translate, GQ translated the words ‘fake marriage’ to ‘a shortcut to obtain a Beijing Hukou’) and GQ often uses graphics to tell a story, much like comics. On WeChat last year, GQ 实验室 published about 280 articles with over 100K views, collaborated with over 200 brands and earned 200 million+ RMB, becoming China’s top-earning account.  

Read More:GQ实验室一年营收近两亿,成了中国最赚钱的公众号 
GQ Article Examples: 《暧昧的12种玩法》; 《再厉害的人,也得再家族群里低头》
Latest System Updates
Stay on top of WeChat's evolution

Tencent Beta Tests Customized Red Packet During CNY 

Tencent has been a pioneer in shifting the Chinese New Year tradition in China from sending physical red packet money to digital cash. This year, companies can apply for a customized version, for example, a Disney-logo red envelope. This is a new initiative that the founder of WeChat, Allan Zhang, mentioned at the latest WeChat conference – its purpose is to add an emotional element to the gift. Read More
Spot an update or new feature? Let us know at 
Insider Information

Are you a WeChat addict? That’s okay, so are we. Fans can now reminisce about every WeChat feature update from 2011 through 2018 on an official timeline. Put together by parent company Tencent, the info appears on the official WeChat case study account (follow it @WeChatGlobal). Read More 
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This week, the turf war between WeChat and many of its competitors became the topic of many podcasts. They analyze each app’s pros and cons, and try to answer the ultimate question – whether any will challenge WeChat’s primacy...
Techbuzz China Ep. 35: New WeChat Challengers: Duoshan, Toilet, and Bullet 2.0

China Tech Talk 70: WeChat vs TikTok: China’s Stories

South China Morning Post’s Inside China Tech: WeChat changes focus, new social media players and short video’s rise and rise
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