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The Super App

In China, a comprehensive app can perform almost any task for its users. WeChat, launched on January 21, 2011, by Tencent, is the world’s only surviving and most widely used ‘Super App’. It allows users to pay for anything from flight tickets to food orders, credit card bills, and other mundane and important tasks. With over 827.2 million users in China, which is approximately 58.9% of the country’s population, it is an understatement to say that WeChat is a successful experiment.

The success of WeChat in China has not only transformed consumer lifestyles but also influenced the strategies of brand owners, who need to partner with the app to market and promote their brands to its users.

In markets outside of China, various tech giants have attempted to create or transform their apps into ‘Super Apps’, with varying degrees of success. In 2018, Meta’s WhatsApp announced WhatsApp Pay, with pilot phases in Brazil and India. However, the company may have encountered regulatory and related obstacles. Last year, Elon Musk toyed with a similar idea of turning Twitter into an ‘everything app’. However, there are indications that Musk may have abandoned the idea due to Twitter’s financial challenges.

There is a way around this obstacle. For example, 90% of retailers in the United States now accept Apple Pay. Although the app-based approach may be absent from this strategy, the fact that about 17.3% of US consumers now use the wallet to make payments could signal that a ‘Super App’ capable of challenging WeChat may emerge at some point.

The implications of this will be a seismic shift for retailers, small businesses, and brand owners worldwide. It could also lead to a proliferation of ‘Super Apps’ in different markets, further decentralizing the market.

In the last decade, we have been working with global and regional brands to develop future-proof strategies. Talk to us and let’s partner to build sustainable brands. Do not hesitate to contact us via email at info@sbimediaglobal.com or info@sbimedia.co.uk