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WeChat is social media, a Chinese multi-purpose messaging and payment app created by Tencent. It was released in 2011, and by 2018 it was one of the world's largest standalone apps by users that were active, with over 1 billion active users. Described as one of the planet's most powerful apps by Forbes, it is also called China's"app for everything" and also a"super program" because of its broad range of functions and platforms. In addition to China, it is the very popular messaging program in Bhutan.

From the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Charlie Munger recognized WeChat as among the few possible rivals to Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

WeChat began as a job at Tencent Guangzhou Research and Project centre in October 2010. The original version of the program was created by Zhang Xiaolong and named"Weixin" by Ma Huateng, Tencent CEO and launched in 2011. The government has supported the development of the e-commerce marketplace for example in the plan.

By 2012, when the number of consumers reached 100 million, Weixin was re-branded"WeChat" for the international industry.

WeChat had over 889 million monthly active users in 2016. 90 percent of whom were in China. For comparison, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (two other competitive international messaging services better known in the West) had about a billion Active Users in 2016 but did not offer most of the additional services available on WeChat. By way of instance, in Q2 2017 WeChat's revenues from social networking advertising were roughly US$0.9 billion (6 billion Yuan) in comparison to Facebook's total earnings of US$9.3 billion, 98 per cent of which were from social networking advertisements. WeChat's revenues from its value added services were US$5.5 billion.

Messaging

WeChat provides text messaging, hold-to-talk voice messaging, broadcast (one-to-many) messaging, video calls and conferencing, video games, sharing of photographs and movies, and location sharing. It can exchange contacts with people nearby via Bluetooth, as well as providing a variety of features for calling people randomly if desirable (if people are open to it). It can also integrate with other networking services like facebook and Tencent QQ. Pictures may also be embellished with captions and filters, and an automated translation service is available.

WeChat supports different instant messaging techniques, including text message, voice message, walkie talkie and decals. Users may send previously saved or live videos and pictures, namecards of users, coupons, lucky cash bundles, or current GPS places with friends either individually or in a group chat. WeChat's character decals, for example Tuzki, compete and resemble with those of LINE, a messaging program.

Official accounts

WeChat users may enroll as an official accounts, which enables them to drive feeds to subscribers, interact with subscribers and provide them with services. There are 3 varieties of accounts: a service accounts, a subscription accounts and an enterprise accounts. They can not change it After users as people or organizations set up a kind of consideration. From the end of 2014, the amount of WeChat official accounts had reached 8 million. Official accounts of organizations can use to get verified (price 300 RMB or roughly USD$45). Accounts can be utilized as a platform for services such as visa renewal, hospital pre-registrations or credit card service.

Subscription accounts

WeChat subscription account is the simple type of accounts, enabling push content and notification updates for subscribed followers exhibited from the subscription region. These accounts do not encourage WeChat payment service.

Service accounts

The service account is for companies or organizations to access more advanced features on WeChat. It offers more Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) than subscription accounts, and businesses and organizations can create their own applications according to WeChat APIs. When seeing their webpage that is messaging users can observe the information. Service account service WeChat payment support.

Moments

"Seconds" is WeChat's brand name for its own social feed of friends upgrades. Moments allows users to post images, post text, post comments, share music (associated with QQ Music or alternative online music providers ), share articles and article"enjoys" Moments can be linked to Facebook and Twitter accounts, and can place Moments content straight.

In 2017 WeChat had a policy of a maximum of 2 advertisements every day per Moments user.

Privacy WeChat functions by groups of friends - only the friends from the user's contact are able to look at their Moments' contents and remarks. This user's friends is only going to have the ability to see the likes and opinions from other users only if they're in a buddies group. By way of instance, friends from high school are not able to see the remarks and likes from friends from university. When their moments are posted by users, they can separate their buddies into a few groups, and they can decide whether this Moment could be seen by specific groups of individuals. Contents posted may be put to"Private", then the consumer can see it.

WeChat Pay payment services

In China, users that have given bank account info may use the program to pay bills, order merchandise and services, transfer money to other customers, and cover in shops if the stores have WeChat payment option. Vetted third parties, also called"official reports", offer these services by creating lightweight"apps inside the app". Users can link their bank accounts, as well as Visa, MasterCard and JCB.

WeChat Purchase is a digital wallet service incorporated into WeChat, which allows users to carry out mobile payments and send money between contacts. Every WeChat user has their own WeChat Payment accounts. A balance can be acquired by users by linking their WeChat account or by getting money from users. Users who link their charge card can make payments to vendors, and cannot use this to top up WeChat equilibrium. WeChat Pay may be used for payments, in addition to payments from participating vendors. As of March 2016, WeChat Pay had over 300 million consumers.

In 2014 for Chinese New Year, WeChat introduced a feature for distributing virtual red envelopes, modelled after the Chinese heritage of exchanging packets of money among friends and family members during holidays. The feature allows users to send money as gifts to contacts and groups. When sent to classes, the money is distributed evenly, or in random shares ("Lucky Money"). The feature was launched via a marketing during the heavily viewed New Year of China Central Television's Gala, where viewers were instructed to shake their telephones during the broadcast for a opportunity to win money awards that are sponsored from red envelopes. The red envelope feature significantly increased the adoption of WeChat Pay. A month after its launching, WeChat Pay's user base expanded from 30 million to 100 million users, and 20 million red envelopes were distributed throughout the New Year holiday. In 2016, 3.2 billion red envelopes were sent over the holiday period, and 409,000 alone were sent at midnight Chinese New Year.

In 2016, WeChat began a service fee if users transferred money from their WeChat wallet for their own debit cards. On March 1, WeChat payment stopped fees for its transfer function. Starting from the exact same day, fees will be charged for withdrawals. Every user had a 1,000 Yuan (roughly US$150) free withdrawal limit. Further withdrawals of over 1,000 Yuan were charged a 0.1 percent commission using a minimum of 0.1 Yuan per cent. Payment functions including red envelopes and transfers were free.

WeChat Pay's main competition in China along with the market leader in online payments was Alibaba Group's Alipay. Alibaba firm founder Jack Ma considered the red envelope feature for a"Pearl Harbor moment", as it started to hamper Alipay's historical dominance in the online payments industry in China, especially in peer-to-peer currency transport. The achievement prompted Alibaba to launch its own version of red envelopes in its Laiwang service. Features were , also introduced by competitions, Baidu Wallet and Sina Weibo.

In 2017 Tencent reported that WeChat had overtaken Alibaba with 600 million busy WeChat mobile payment consumers versus 450 million for Alibaba's Alipay. Alibaba needed a 54 percent share of the mobile payments market in 2017 in comparison to WeChat's 37 per cent share.

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