Recently, Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook, announced plans to transform the social network. It has been pointed out that Zuckerberg's future business model is just like Weixin, a mobile social tool in China. According to the latest news from foreign media, Facebook is also trying to enter the payment field through its own encrypted currency. If successful, the move could replicate China's popular Weichat and Weichat payments, but for the social networking giant, successful replication of Weichat payments could be a daunting task.
Despite reports that Facebook will focus first on the remittance market in India, analysts say this may be a prelude to the company's efforts to increase its mobile payment business, which Barclays Bank says could generate $19 billion in revenue opportunities for Facebook.
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014, the largest acquisition in the company's history. Since then, it has largely focused on mobile chat and some social functions.
At present, WhatsApp is the world's largest instant messaging service, with 1.5 billion active users per month.
But in China, mobile chat has embarked on a different path of development. With more than 1 billion users, Wechat is owned by Tencent, Asia's largest technology company by market value.
One of the most popular functions of Wechat is its payment. It allows users to display a square pattern code called a two-dimensional code on the screen of a mobile phone, so that they can buy goods online or pay in a physical store.
Droplet is the largest taxi application in China, Mei Tuan is a takeout service provider, and Jingdong is one of the largest e-commerce companies in China.
In 2018, eMarketer, an Internet Market Research company, said it expects more than 45% of China's population to use mobile payments, compared with just over 20% in the United States. Most Chinese consumers skip credit cards, using WeChat payment and rival Alipay. Alipay is affiliated with Alibaba's ant gold clothing company.
Wechat not only provides payment services, but also other financial services such as wealth management and microfinance. Facebook's payment plan may not be so ambitious.
Facebook will also face fierce competition in countries and regions where WhatsApp is popular. In India, for example, Paytm, supported by Ant Gold Suits, is the leading mobile payment provider.
In business involving money, the US technology giant will also have to convince users to believe it. This trust from users will be hard to win after the privacy scandal of 2018.