Tencent integrates live streaming into WeChat’s mini program platform to facilitate e-commerce

A move that may affect rivals such as Alibaba and ByteDance.

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China’s internet giant Tencent has been speeding up in integrating live streaming features into its WeChat mini program platform, aiming to boost e-commerce, according to a WeChat public account called Tencent Live Streaming Assistant.

Tencent started to recruit content managing companies to test the live streaming function last March, and recently, the company has also started to select e-commerce players to test the live streaming function, according to the sources.

A new post on Thursday shows that Tencent has made another step to allow a smooth transition between watching a live-streamed show and the online shopping experience.

The solution is an H5 page embedded in a vendor’s mini program on WeChat. The H5 page, which can be added on request, allows viewers to click the products listed on the live-streamed video and direct them to the vendor’s mini program for a transaction.

Tencent declined to comment on the new feature when contacted by KrASIA on Monday.

WeChat, with 1.1 billion monthly active users, has opened its mini program platform to various small vendors, allowing them to generate revenues in a new channel besides other e-commerce sites such as Alibaba’s Taobao, or JD.com.

On Taobao, goods sold via live-streaming in 2018 were worth a total of RMB 100 billion (USD 14.9 billion), the firm told KrASIA in April.

Short video sites such as ByteDance’s Douyin, which has an equivalent app called TikTok outside the Chinese mainland, and Tencent-backed Kuaishou, have both leveraged on live-streaming as a way to boost e-commerce.

Kuaishou said goods worth more than RMB 100 million were sold via its platform between August 28 and August 30, adding that videos related to these goods were viewed more than 200 million times during a three-day promotion called Kaopu Haohuojie, which means Trustworthy Goods Festival.