In Tech

Wal-Mart’s new WeChat features for Chinese shoppers

Walmart China

Beginning this month, millions of Chinese shoppers have been able to check out in more than 100 Wal-Mart stores in China by using WeChat Pay, a mobile payment feature within WeChat. A consumer shows a bar code within the WeChat app to a cashier, and the cashier scans the code to verify the payment.

Wal-Mart also operates a loyalty program that provides deals to followers of Wal-Mart’s WeChat account and lets them easily share those offers with their connections.

Wal-Mart is No. 4 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 that ranks North American online retailers by online sales, and No. 8 in the Internet Retailer 2016 China 500, a similar ranking of retailers operating in China.

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Wal-Mart also has launched a digital gift card feature via its WeChat account, offering a new way for Chinese consumers to send virtual gift cards. A Wal-Mart shopper can buy a gift card through Wal-Mart’s WeChat account and send it to a friend who can use it in Wal-Mart stores or in Wal-Mart mobile apps.

The digital gift card plays on Chinese consumers’ penchant for transferring small amounts of money to friends through online payment systems.

In one week during the Chinese New Year earlier this year, WeChat says about 500 million users sent about 32 billion digital “red envelopes,” the traditional “hongbao” presents given around the new year’s celebration.

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