Apple opens store on WeChat

Apple is exploring new ways to reach customers in China, where it so far managed to increase iPhone sales despite a declining smartphone market.

Apple started selling its products on WeChat, a popular “everything app” owned by China’s tech giant Tencent, the platform announced Tuesday (July 11th).

It said users would be able to purchase the full range of Apple products through WeChat, including iPhones, iPads, and Mac.

Orders placed within the app can be delivered free of charge, with a paid three-hour express delivery service also available.

Despite Apple’s efforts to diversify its supply chains away from China, and political tensions between Beijing and Washington, the company is viewed positively in what is one of its largest markets.

Apple CEO Tim Cook received a warm welcome in China during his visit in March and praised his company’s relationship with the country as “symbiotic.”

This is reflected in iPhone sales in China, which increased by 6% in the first quarter year on year, despite the overall smartphone market declining by 5%, the lowest figure since 2014, according to Counterpoint Research.

Apple controlled 19.9% of the Chinese smartphone market during the first quarter, and iPhone 13 was the country’s best-selling smartphone, according to researchers.

To maintain its leading position in the market, Apple is increasingly willing to accommodate Chinese consumer habits, which have seen social media platforms like WeChat and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, grow into popular shopping places.

The company is also adapting its marketing strategies to better reach local consumers, including an hour-long livestream in May, which it used to promote its products, according to Reuters.

In addition to its physical stores and website, Apple also has a shop on Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform.

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