Tapping into the inbound Chinese market: WeChat

WeChat is a multipurpose app developed by Tencent, that is central to the Chinese community. Not only is it widely used within China, Chinese individuals all across the world are also avid users of this messaging and social media platform. A specific function within WeChat which makes it particularly popular is WeChat Pay. This is a mobile payment platform whereby individuals with a Chinese bank account or Visa/Mastercard credit card can link their details within the app, allowing them to pay using this app.


The demand to cater to Chinese tourists and attract them is mounting, thus perhaps it is time to start considering the use of WeChat for London restaurants. In 2018, Apple pay had approximately 127 million monthly users, whereas WeChat Pay had a staggering 900 million monthly users. As a popular tourist destination, London is no stranger to Chinese tourists. In 2018, London attracted approximately 319, 380 Chinese visitors, who spent £656.68 million. There is evidently a huge market for WeChat for London restaurants given the substantial flow of Chinese tourists. An advantage of implementing this mobile payment which may be highly attractive for Chinese customers, is the acknowledgement of their culture and greater convenience for them when paying.


How does WeChat work for London restaurants? Restaurants can create an account on WeChat and from there provide a multitude of information and benefits. Like a website, information can be provided about the restaurant, photos and videos can be uploaded and restaurants can even tailor their account to Chinese viewers by including additional features such as a Mandarin menu. Additionally, through the app, restaurants can offer special promotions. A major benefit of WeChat for London restaurants is the location feature, which can target and draw potential customers that are nearby. Payment is taken by scanning a QR code and for extra creativity and to further engage with customers, businesses can create their own QR code design, in line with the branding of the restaurant.


It may be that rolling out WeChat Pay is not a matter of if, but rather when. And once a restaurant starts using WeChat, we can only imagine that others will follow suit. Stay updated here.

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