While the big boys of the tech world like Apple and Facebook are experimenting with how to monetise their communication tools, they have more company in the form of the highly-popular Chinese messenger tool WeChat from Tencent.
Both Chinese and US tech giants are eyeing each other's market. And WeChat is a force to reckon with. Since launching in 2011, it has become China's central all-in-one app, offering a mind-boggling range of smartphone services - chat, social media, payments, news, hotel bookings, dating and so on - and has seen its growth explode in recent years, roughly quadrupling its monthly active users since 2013.
According to Tencent, it will build a dedicated US-based team to provide advertising support to Western brands to help them more effectively target Chinese consumers and tailor ads to "local culture".
While the Chinese giant's (WeChat has 963 million users) long-term hope is that more US brands will want to shift their digital ad budgets into marketing in China, their more immediate push could be to go after the millions of Chinese consumers increasingly traveling to North America.
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