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WeChat Expands in Europe to Attract Advertisers, Payments

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  • WeChat Expands in Europe to Attract Advertisers, Payments

WeChat, China’s most popular social media and messaging service, has launched a new bid in Europe and the U.S. to develop its payments offering and win new advertisers.

Owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., WeChat is looking to launch an office in the U.K. and another European country, alongside its existing presence in Italy. Tencent, which has an established office in San Francisco, is also looking to grow its WeChat team in the U.S., targeting advertisers and payments providers.

“We needed to make a step closer in serving European brands,” said Tencent Europe director Andrea Ghizzoni, in an interview with Bloomberg.

WeChat, which also hosts payments and brand pages, has more than 889 million users in its home country, yet remains largely unused outside of its home country.

It is not the first time WeChat has attempted to win over Western users. In 2013 the app hired soccer star Lionel Messi in a high profile campaign outside of China. “There were lots of downloads” of the app, said Ghizzoni. “However stickiness was slow.”

WeChat is now focusing more on business-to-business, encouraging Western brands to sell products on the WeChat platform. The service is courting “high-value” brands in countries like the U.K. and Italy, Ghizzoni said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Burberry and Chanel are already high-profile clients on WeChat’s platform.

In Europe, the focus is first on fashion and luxury goods, and will in time expand to travel and broader retail services. WeChat is hoping its expansion in Europe will convince more high-profile brands onto the platform, not only to reach consumers in China, but also Chinese tourists visiting Europe.

Goldman Sachs estimates that 220 million Chinese tourists will travel overseas by 2025, up from 120 million in 2015.

“Tencent could be following Chinese travelers to Europe and the U.S., as many of these consumers are going overseas for shopping,” said Marie Sun, a Shenzhen-based analyst at Morningstar Investment Service. “It would make sense for brands to advertise on WeChat which is a large and effective platform.

Payments Push

Tencent’s payment business is booming, as its average daily transactions topped 600 million a day in December. Chinese consumers are using the service to pay for everything from ride-hailing to food takeout.

But while WeChat has been one of the leading providers in offering chat-based payment systems, its global competitors have been ramping up the competition.

Facebook Inc., which owns WhatsApp, has been expanding its payments offering within its messaging apps, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate has been busy pushing Alipay in Europe. In August, Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent, announced a partnership with Ingenico Group SA, a French payments group, to allow Chinese tourists to pay for goods in Europe via the group’s e-wallet platform.

“We are talking to different payments institutions in Europe,” said Ghizzoni, “in order to integrate them into WeChat.”

Ghizzoni flagged the U.K.’s high-profile payments industry as a major reason for setting up in the country. WeChat is working with media agency Digital Retex in the U.K., who are helping set up an initial office in Mayfair. The messaging app will add more staff, from IT to operations, over the next year.

“Tencent could be trying to do what Alipay is doing,” said Sun, “but there’s much more uncertainty in terms of when the business could take off, as it would need to overcome many regulatory hurdles.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Newly Founded Cybersecurity Startups Raise Over $31m in 2020

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Cybersecurity Startups Raise Over $31m in 2020

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, there are 78 new cybersecurity companies founded in 2020 that cumulatively have raised over $31.6 million in funding year-to-date.

Only 15% of cybersecurity startups launched in 2020 secured funding. However, three companies alone collected nearly 96% ($30.3 million) of the total amount of investments.

The startup that scored the most significant investment is Beyond. It secured a total of $21 million in February of 2020, which accounts for more than 66% of total investments into newly launched cybersecurity startups this year.

A cybersecurity company with the second biggest investment is Sevco Security, which raised over $6.7 million in May of 2020.

Also, in the list of top three cybersecurity startups in terms of funding is Soc.OS. It received more than $2.5 million in investments in July this year.

Most of this year’s cybersecurity companies are from North America or particularly the US. They make up nearly 35% (27) of all the cybersecurity startups launched in 2020.

A number of new cybersecurity startups is shrinking each year

While the amount of cyber incidents is increasing and cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, the number of new cybersecurity startups is declining each year.

Historical data shows that in 2015 there were 490 cybersecurity companies launched. Together the startups raised over $3.1 billion in investments.

The year of 2016 saw a slightly smaller number of new cybersecurity companies. The launch of new startups in the cybersecurity field decreased by 0.8%, with 486 startups launched that year. The total amount of funding allocated to those startups, however, dropped in half, from $3.1 billion to $1.6 billion.

In 2017 the number of new cybersecurity startups plummeted again by 0.8%. There were 482 cybersecurity companies founded that year, which raised more than $1.3 billion in total — 17% less than in 2016.

The number of new cybersecurity startups dropped by more than a fifth in 2018 compared to the year before. A total of 382 cybersecurity companies were launched that year, which collected over $847 million in investments. The amount of funds invested in the cybersecurity startups also dropped by 35% compared to 2017.

Last year saw a 46% decrease in the launch of new cybersecurity startups. There were 207 these types of companies founded. Together they raised close to $229.5 million in investments — 73% less than the year before.

Finally, this year’s cybersecurity market has welcomed 78 newcomers — the number has shrunk by 62% compared to last year. However, 2020 is not over yet; hence we can expect the numbers of cybersecurity companies to increase slightly.

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Nintendo DS Dominates North America and Japan Selling Over 90 Million Units

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Nintendo DS Sells 90 Million Units North America and Japan

Data presented by Safe Betting Sites shows that Nintendo DS has dominated sales in North America and Japan with a total of 90.4 million units sold. About 57.3 million Nintendo DS units had been sold in North America while in Japan the figure stands at 33.01 million units.

PlayStation 2 highest selling console globally

As of September 2020, in North America, PlayStation 2 has sold the second-highest number of units at 53.65 million units sold. Xbox 360 is third with 49.11 million units followed by Nintendo Wii at 45.51 million while Game Boy is fifth with 43.18 million units.

Other high selling consoles include PlayStation(40.78 million), Game Boy Advance(40.39 million), PlayStation 4(37.36 million), Nintendo ES(33.49 million), Xbox One (31.39 million)

In Japan, Game Boy has the second highway selling units at 32.47 million followed by Nintendo 3DS at 24.62 million. PlayStation 2has sold 23.18 million units while PlayStation is fifth with 21.59 million units sold.

Other high selling consoles include PlayStation Portable(20.01 million), Nintendo ES(19.35 million), SNES (17.17 million), Game Boy(16.96 million), and Nintendo Switch(15.17 million).

The research highlights the evolution of the gaming industry. According to the research report:

Overall, the video games market has witnessed significant spending over recent years. However, the emergence of low-cost games for mobile devices has slowed demand for video game consoles. The industry has experienced almost a complete overhaul of how games are purchased, played, and shared with others. The industry’s shift to online services has served to insulate the industry from shocks to retail and manufacturing channels.

The Safe Betting Sites research also reviewed the highest selling consoles globally. PlayStation 2 holds the pole position with 157.68 million units followed by Nintendo DS at 154.9 million. In the third spot, Game Boy has sold 118.69 million units followed by PlayStation 4 at 113.3 million units. Wii is fifth with 101.64 million units sold.

 

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Top 10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Installs in the US

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10 iOS Game Apps Record Over 190k Daily Download in US

Data presented by Stock Apps indicates that the top ten games apps on iOS in the United States recorded an estimated 190,385 cumulative daily installs. The installs areas of as of September 23, 2020.

Pandemic spurs mobile gaming growth

Clash of Clans ranks top with about 21,667 daily installs. Pokémon GO has the second-highest installs at 21,346 followed by Coin Master with 20,824 daily installs. Among Us and Candy Crush Saga occupy the fourth and fifth spots at 19,890 and 18,898 respectively.

Other notable isntalls were recorded by Call of Duty(18,771), Homescapes(18,046), Roblox(17,040), Gardenscapes (16,948) and Toon Blast (16,864)

The research also overviewed the gross revenue for the day for the ranked games. Cumulatively, the games generated $9.75 million. Roblox leads with $2.48 million followed by Pokémon GO at $1.92 million while Candy Crush comes third at $1.86 million. Coin Master is fourth with a revenue of $978,273 while Homescapes closes the top five categories with $865,142.

Other game apps to generate significant revenue include Gardenscapes(16,948), Clash of Clans(21,667), Toon Blast(16,864), Call of Duty (18,771)and Among Us(19,890).

This has witnessed the growth of mobile gaming due to various factors. According to the research report:

The daily installs and revenue can be considered high having built on the moment established during the coronavirus pandemic. At the peak of the health crisis, most people were in lockdown and shifted to mobile games as a means of passing time. Notably, before the pandemic, mobile gaming on iOS and other platforms was growing rapidly. iOS game developer companies have been investing more resources into creating new games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games.”

The penetration of mobile devices is further expected to spur growth.

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