Daily Digital Pulse of China: WeChat Banking & Bitcoin
WeChat Banking Emerges in China
Several Chinese banks have now launched banking services via popular mobile phone app WeChat, as they try to tap into the rapidly changing online business world. Launched as an instant messaging smartphone app, Tencent's WeChat began attracting banks, which have established accounts dedicated to businesses and groups, after introducing payment features. Two of the services commonly offered through these banks' WeChat accounts, are a search for branch locations and the ability to make appointments to avoid queues at the bank. China Everbright Bank's WeChat service can even recognise a user's location and send locations of nearby branches to the user's phone. WeChat also provides an alternative to the banks' service hotlines, with some of the banks hiring staff to man the service. Besides checking their account balance, China Merchant Bank, China Everbright Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank allow their clients who have signed an additional contract to buy financial products through their WeChat accounts. For people who are not familiar with using apps or even smartphones, these WeChat banking services are just a novelty among the youth but as the e-commerce and online banking sectors continue to grow it is likely the adoption of these digital services will spread.
Source: Want China Times
BTC China Starts Accepting Deposits Again
In December 2013 BTC China, the online currency exchange, stopped accepting deposits in its home currency, RMB. Since then, what was once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange by transaction volume has continued to exist using a voucher system. But on Friday, after a six-week hiatus, BTC China started accepting deposits in RMB again. BTC China now offers a bank transfer payment method, but the third-party systems – Alipay, Tenpay, Yeepay, etc – are yet to move into the market. The news might not bring forth a resurgence of Bitcoin fever like we saw late last year, though. Many Bitcoin enthusiasts cashed out when the Bank of China made its announcement in December. To help regain some of its former glory, BTC China has launched a program where those who post multiple buy and sell offers receive a bonus fee, and those who take the offers are charged a fee. The aim is to increase liquidity in the market Until February 15, every time RMB 100,000 ($16,500) is rebated through the program, the maker and taker whose transaction passes the 100,000 threshhold each receive an RMB 1,000 ($165) prize. Many of BTC China’s domestic competitors, such as OkCoin and Huobi, do not charge a commission and have been using the bank transfer method for some time. This digital market moves fast and it is expected that more developments will follow shortly.
Source: Tech in Asia
Big Names on Chinese Social Media and E-Commerce
British Airways is capitalizing on China’s hottest social media platform, WeChat, to connect with the country’s tech- and social-savvy globetrotters. The airline company executed its first ever WeChat campaign and pulled in more than 10,000 followers in 10 days. The campain was a Chinese New Year oriented one, and was created by Social@Ogilvy to bring existing Sina Weibo followers over to its new WeChat account. The first 2,014 followers on the account would receive physical red envelopes delivered to their doors, consisting of a New Year’s greeting from the regional CEO and a promotional coupon for $50. Three followers were also selected at random to win round-trip tickets between China and London. Think ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ but in Asia and with golden air tickets. Pepsi also used its Tmall store to drive consumer social responsibility (CSR) – the charity it ran encouraged people to donate 2RMB, and for every 200 RMB accumulated, Pepsi would send a care package to help mothers in need. The site for this campaign is hosted on Tudou and features numerous celebrities in Pepsi-branded short films.