Austrade uses WeChat to access Chinese market

Wednesday, 07 November, 2018

Austrade uses WeChat to access Chinese market

A new digital platform designed to support Australian businesses engaging with China has just been launched by Austrade.

The Austrade Mini-Program is the first to be developed by a non-Chinese government trade and investment promotion agency and gives Australian businesses a significant marketing channel to reach potential partners as well as consumers.

The ‘mini-program’ is housed within China’s most popular social media platform, WeChat, and will be a tool for Australian companies attending the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), which opens next week in Shanghai.

The expo is expected to attract some 180,000 Chinese buyers, and more than 200 Australian brands will be represented.

WeChat’s mini-programs are applications that operate within the WeChat ecosystem and resemble a normal application or app but are not downloaded.

The program will be a permanent channel for Australian businesses looking to export — or grow their existing businesses — in China.

It provides information on Australian products and services, promotional and trade events, commercial and investment opportunities and industry specific insights. It will also support the education and tourism sectors.

“Building the Australia brand by collaborating with the foremost digital and social media environment in China is very exciting. We need to reach out to both business and the consumer. This is an innovative way of achieving both aims,” said Dr Stephanie Fahey, Austrade CEO.

The program makes it easier for users to access information on Australia, receive notifications of new stories and insights, and register for Austrade business events.

It will also feature content in English. It builds on Austrade’s public account launched in 2014 which now boasts more than 40,000 subscribers.

“We will always look for cost-effective and creative ways to increase Australia’s share of digital trade, and this program helps us deliver even better service to Australian exporters,” Fahey said.

WeChat is currently one of the world’s largest standalone mobile apps by users, with more than one billion active monthly users.

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