WeChat Pay arrives in Italy, making shopping easier for Chinese consumers

12 Dec 2017
WeChat Pay will make instant shopping easy for the millions of Chinese consumers travelling or residing in Italy. It is a payment system which replaces the use of cash, credit cards and home-banking services. To clarify the importance of this payment technology, it is necessary to obtain some clear figures. However, only after overcoming the common misunderstanding that WeChat is simply a faraway, foreign copy of our familiar, western WhatsApp. In actual fact, the messaging system is only one part of the WeChat global service platform. Important numbers, clarifying the scope of the phenomenon in China. Today, WeChat has 938 million registered users, 230 million of whom have linked their credit card to the platform. 35% of total internet surfing time is carried out via WeChat. The quota of digital commerce in the Retail sector is very high, accounting for about 20% of total business, compared with 5.6% in Italy. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFyAMP4dteI[/embed] The Chinese market is a golden opportunity for international retailers. In an interview with DailyNet, the European director of Tencent (the colossal Chinese holding company that controls WeChat) Andrea Ghizzoni and our own Fausto Caprini, CEO of Digital Retex (WeChat's sole partner in Italy), clarify the importance of WeChat Pay in the local and international context. While the importance of the Chinese market is known (according to some estimates, it accounts for almost half of world consumption in some sectors) and is marked as a strategic target for multinational companies, tourism in particular is definitely increasing its volume. In 15 years, travellers arriving from China have increased from 10 to 120 million; 2.5 million visited Italy last year and we expect ten million in 2021. This represents a huge mass of consumers who want to keep up their purchasing habits, even while abroad. This means paying by exclusively by smartphone, without worrying about currency issues or exchange rates. Today, there are about one million commercial transactions made with WeChat Pay every minute.