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Tencent is incubating community-based content and e-commerce marketplace on WeChat

The Chinese tech giant is exploring social commerce.

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China’s social and gaming giant Tencent has showed signs of developing community-based social commerce recently as it renamed its mini program called Haowu Quan to WeChat QuanZi (Haowu means “good things” while Quan or Quanzi means “a group of people”) , 36Kr reported on Thursday.

This is the second time this mini program has undergone a name change. In September 2018, it was rolled out and called “Wode Gouwudan”, which means “my shopping list”. Through this mini program, one could display the lists of goods he/she had purchased via various mini programs on WeChat to their friends, add a list of things they would like to buy, and a list of things they would recommend their friends to buy.

When this mini program was named Haowu Quan, most of its functions involved the recommendation of goods.

Now that it is renamed as WeChat Quanzi, it seems more like a place which separates WeChat users into different groups. Currently, WeChat Quanzi is home to more than 8,600 groups based on interests such as traveling, poem-reading, and legal consultation.

According to 36Kr, group creators were invited by Tencent from other social platforms. KrASIA found Thursday that one WeChat Quanzi creator even shared a video to his group members, which was first hosted on Douyin, China’s largest short video platform.  Douyin’s short videos have long being banned from being directly circulated among WeChat users.

These group creators are allowed to add merchandise information when they are sharing photos, text, or videos with others within a WeChat Quanzi interest group, according to 36Kr. Group members are also allowed to share information such as prices and sellers’ contact information for some goods such as second-hand cars.

However, Tencent has yet to build a closed e-commerce loop for those key online opinion leaders to monetize their influence on WeChat Quanzi, which is still being developed by about ten employees of the company.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.