WeChat Users Again Allowed to Send Tips After Apple and Tencent Reach Deal

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Apple and Tencent, the company that owns the popular WeChat messaging app, have reached a deal that will let WeChat users resume sending in-app tips to content creators, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple first asked Chinese social networking apps to disable tipping functionality back in May 2017 as it violated App Store rules. Tipping, Apple said, was a form of in-app purchase that should be subjected to the same fees as other in-app purchases.


In June, Apple officially updated its App Store Review Guidelines and began allowing tipping, but as an in-app purchase, ensuring the company received its full 30 percent cut. Another tweak was made in September, however, officially allowing Apple users to send monetary gifts to other users without Apple taking a cut.

Tencent initially refused to reimplement tipping as an in-app purchase because in WeChat, tipping is a free service provided to customers to build engagement, with Tencent receiving no portion of the money.

Tipping will soon resume in WeChat, though, as WeChat creator Allen Zhang said on Monday that the company had reached an accord with Apple. Details are scarce, but Zhang said WeChat will tweak its platform so tips are paid to individual content creators.

"In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features," Mr. Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. "We now all share a mutual understanding and we'll soon bring back the "tip" function."

With little detail available on the deal established between Tencent and Apple, it's not clear if Apple will be receiving a cut of tips sent between WeChat users, but the tipping feature should soon be returning to the app.

Top Rated Comments

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31 months ago

So Apple did what it usually does - bullies a company that's using a feature Apple wants into pulling that feature, then a few months later Apple apes said feature for their own and claims "we invented this" all the while putting the established company out of business.

Apple needs to be investigated for monopolistic practices. Such a scumbag company.

What? Are we even reading the same article? I have no idea how you got all of that from this story. :confused:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
If WeChat isn't making any money on this, then Apple is ridiculous for asking for a cut. They certainly aren't asking Venmo or Paypal for a cut of funds transferred between people!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago
So Apple did what it usually does - bullies a company that's using a feature Apple wants into pulling that feature, then a few months later Apple apes said feature for their own and claims "we invented this" all the while putting the established company out of business.

Apple needs to be investigated for monopolistic practices. Such a scumbag company.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

why? Why would you want one app to do so many things? Just curious

waterfta had explained some of the points which i wanted to. but let me add on.

WeChat is like whatsapp/telegram on steroids. It started off as just a messaging app but had grown to include more and more features. WeChat together with AliPay (a competitor of WeChat) had transform the entire payment industry in just a couple of years. Almost every single stall there accept cashless/mobile payment, hence you would see the WeChat logo on almost every single shop. Even the street hawkers accept it. They had gone into the extend where some stalls complete stop accepting cash.

Not to mention, there are also lots of mini games within WeChat. As waterfta mentioned, it reduce the need of downloading another app and it works well on budget phone that comes with low storage space.

Another point would be culture. If you look at website from US and China, there is a single biggest different. For US site, it is usually clean and not clutter with too much information. However for China site, a single page is often full cluttered with lots of different texts, links, contents, etc.

As I aren't from China or living there, I can't further explain on why the culture are as such. Take a short trips there and you will see how WeChat works. Last year, I did that for 2 weeks and upon returning back to my country (Singapore), I do miss using WeChat to do my payment because it is simply fast. No messing with coins and notes. Receipt also goes straight into the app.

For a similar reason we want our phone to be able to do everything (unlock doors, turn on lights, make payments, talk to people, etc). Why carry around extra keys, wallets, credit cards when your phone can do it all?

I live in China now and having one app that does most everything I need is convenient. It frees up apps on my phone which in turn means less apps to update and allows me to pay for everything with one ecosystem regardless of if I'm using Android or Apple.

For example, when Facebook split their messaging app and main app it was frustrating. I'm sure there are decent reasons for them doing that, but, the idea of reverse-integration never made sense to me the end-user.

Yes, I agreed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

If WeChat isn't making any money on this, then Apple is ridiculous for asking for a cut. They certainly aren't asking Venmo or Paypal for a cut of funds transferred between people!

It actually costs money to send money -- like credit card processing and such. Granted, it's nowhere 30%, but just because some company is taking a loss to win users doesn't mean unaffiliated third parties have to lose money to facilitate that.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
31 months ago

why? Why would you want one app to do so many things? Just curious

For a similar reason we want our phone to be able to do everything (unlock doors, turn on lights, make payments, talk to people, etc). Why carry around extra keys, wallets, credit cards when your phone can do it all?

I live in China now and having one app that does most everything I need is convenient. It frees up apps on my phone which in turn means less apps to update and allows me to pay for everything with one ecosystem regardless of if I'm using Android or Apple.

For example, when Facebook split their messaging app and main app it was frustrating. I'm sure there are decent reasons for them doing that, but, the idea of reverse-integration never made sense to me the end-user.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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