One of China’s largest cities will allow users to link their national ID cards to Tencent’s WeChat, a mobile messaging and social-media app. WeChat will use facial recognition which will further put Chinese consumers under Tencent’s technological ecosystem.
Authorities from the city of Guangzhou announced the pilot program this week and it will be probably be rolled out nationwide by next month according to the official Xinhua news agency.
WeChat which was launched back in 2011 was originally a mobile messenger app like WhatsApp, however, the company has expanded the messenger to have a social media aspect to it with voice calls, cloud storage, even online shopping and financial services.
The best part is the app has not felt cluttered and is overall very favorable to Chinese consumers, we have even tried the app and found it very intuitive and well designed.
There is one major difference as to why we can see this in China and not in the U.S and this comes down to a very important choice in design. People who reside in the United States typically don’t like all-inclusive designs. For instance, let’s take a look at the Facebook app for Android. It has evolved from a standard social networking app to now includes a watch section, marketplace but yet no messaging service from within the app you now need to download the messenger app separately.
Which while in the beginning was met with much resistance has been widely accepted. Of course, Facebook seems to be cluttering the app with many more features that many users aren’t necessarily using and this is a core difference in our markets. When it comes to Chinese Technology companies they try to sync everything together like it’s a social network. Even more than that, to game the system. Logging in to what was Tencent’s cloud storage service gave you points which were synced across their other service, and you got more treats and bonuses for doing and you would get even more pushed into more of their apps and services.