Will WeChat trump iOS in ecosystem stickiness?

I have been a loyal iPhone user and was hesitant to switch to any other brand until my iPhone 6 finally broke down. Being an Apple fan, I personally did not have any preference for any other brand in particular. I decided to switch to Oppo R11, but only because it was free and I wanted to use it as a transition phone before iPhone 8 became available. However, one month after using a Chinese brand Android phone for the first time, I was amazed at how easy it was to transition to a different platform. I think the key reason for the ease of transition is that there is not enough stickiness in Apple services in China. Chinese users spend so much time on WeChat, so as long as all your files are transferred from WeChat to your new phone, you are set to go. WeChat was said to have captured almost 30% of China’s mobile app usage, according to the latest Mary Meeker report.

Below are key reasons why WeChat is trumping iOS in ecosystem stickiness and is almost becoming an operating system in itself: 

·       WeChat has become more than a chatting app in China. It comprises so many other functions such as payment, calling a cab, sharing moments with friends (social networking), reading news, shopping, following posts from official accounts of retailers and companies as well as public accounts for any topics of interest. On average, 61% of WeChat users opened WeChat more than 10 timers per day and 36% of users opened WeChat more than 30 times per day in 2016, according to a CAICT report.

·       WeChat has a new function to transfer all your past chat history from your old phone to your new phone through simply a few clicks and a QR code scanning.  Since a lot of important messages and pictures are stored in WeChat, this function makes switching from one phone to another even easier.

·       Most of the apps from Apple have Chinese local alternatives that are customized for Chinese customers and many people are not even aware of what services or apps are offered by Apple.  For example, local music apps like QQ Music and Xiami Music can satisfy the needs for most users as they have a wider selection of local songs, as well as Korean and Japanese songs, than Apple Music. Unless you are a big fan of Western music and are particularly concerned about the sound quality, local music apps will suffice. In addition, the network quality when accessing local apps is more stable than accessing Apple apps.

·       Apple Pay is not widely used in stores in China whereas WeChat Payment and Alipay are omnipresent. WeChat payment and Alipay account for 40% and 50% of China’s mobile payment market respectively, based on iResearch. In addition, there are more rules and restrictions from Apple Pay than local mobile payment systems. Fingerprint payment verification was initially banned for WeChat payment and Alipay on iPhones. Apple also fought with Tencent to disable the tip function on WeChat to adhere to Apple Store rules.  Furthermore, in an effort to combat its declining market share in China, Apple is bending, for example it finally conceded on August 30th, to accept WeChat payments for purchases in its App store

·       WeChat is popular among all age groups in China. Elderly people are not familiar with what apps are popular and tend to just use WeChat to connect with family and friends. One of the features on WeChat that is convenient for older generations is voice messaging, as many of them do not know how to use pinyin input

·       WeChat has also become the most widely used chatting app for business use. WeChat allows transferring large size files as well as making video calls.

·       WeChat launched a “mini program” feature this year to allow users to access apps directly through WeChat without the need to download the apps, which is less data intensive. This new feature will further reduce users’ reliance on any operating system.

Wechat is your Facebook, your credit card, your Uber, your Amazon altogether. The rise of WeChat as an all-in-one app is threatening not only the appeal of Apple’s iOS operating system but also iPhone sales in China. In China WeChat creates less of a difference for consumers using different operating systems or brands. Some even say China’s operating system is Wechat, not Android or iOS. As a testimony, Apple’s market share in China has already dropped from 14.3% in 2015 to 10.7% in 2016. However, we believe Apple’s market share is unlikely to drop any further because the high-income group will still want to buy the premium iPhones and the strategy to sell older models with competitive price points targeting the aspiring middle income segment will also help drive volume. As for local OEMs, with the lack of differentiation in OS, they will continue to compete fiercely in exterior design and marketing campaigns. We also see improvement in UI even within Android players in China to differentiate.

Apple Snack Pack


Understanding iPhone

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.