Facebook is moving closer to add to the social media platform features already found in Chinese WeChat.
The company plans to add to Facebook private messaging, groups and payments. But Tencent’s app WeChat, which counts more than 1 billion users, already makes it easy to shop, pay and connect, and it's more functional than Facebook apps. WeChat Pay counts 900 million users, an instant mobile wallet that bypasses banking and credit card fees to pay for items via a mobile app scan.
In addition, WeChat is an expert in the field of monetization of mobile apps. Its min-shops blend content with commerce in a brilliant way, with links to sales products that can be accessed only within WeChat. WeChat mini-shops had reached 200 million users within just two years.
WeChat messaging and calls can be used in the US but its payment and shopping functions aren't readily accessible in the US without a China bank account and a registered Chinese account. This leaves an opportunity for Facebook to fill the gap with its own services, even if they are "copied" from China.
WeChat’s online version of Chinese New Year red envelopes stuffed with cash for gifts to friends and family also inspired Facebook, which tested its own cash gift feature.
Obviously, China tech does not need to look to the west in order to innovate. On the otehr hand, Facebook seems to borrow successful business concepts from China.