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Apple opens online store on Chinese WeChat app

Apple opens online store on WeChat

Apple announced the launch of its online store on China's popular messaging app, WeChat. This shows that Apple wants to keepexpanding its retail channels and tapping into China's user base.

With over 1.2 billion users, WeChat has been called a "super app" due to its extensive features beyond simple messaging. Users can access various "Mini Programs" within WeChat, eliminating the need to download multiple standalone apps. These Mini Programs offer e-commerce, financial services, and transportation options, among other services.

Apple's entry into the WeChat ecosystem comes from a dedicated Mini Program. This program allows users to purchase the complete range of Apple products, including the iPhone 14 lineup.

Tencent officially confirmed that orders made through the WeChat Mini Program are eligible for free shipping, and select users can even access three-hour delivery options. Customers accessing the Apple WeChat store will also have the opportunity to utilize certain Apple services, such as the trade-in program.

While Apple has traditionally maintained tight control over its retail channels, it has recently expanded its presence on China's major apps. It already operates an official store on Tmall, a popular e-commerce platform operated by Alibaba. Moreover, JD.com, China's second-largest online retailer, is an official reseller of Apple products.

An iPhone

Despite a decline in China's smartphone market during the first quarter of 2023, Apple has managed to maintain its position as the leading handset vendor in the country. According to a report by research firm Counterpoint, Apple holds a 20% market share, indicating a 2% improvement compared to the same period in the previous year.

This achievement is noteworthy, considering the Chinese market's dynamic nature. It is particularly impressive considering that the iPhone 13 series dominated the chart of the best-selling phones in China in 2022.

The launch of Apple's online store on WeChat marks the latest milestone in the company's China expansion strategy.

Source: Reuters

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