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WeChat adapt their use of consumer data to remain the leading social platform in China

By David Linnett
16 November 2021

By David Linnett

WeChat owner Tencent, appears to be the first business to come under scrutiny from a consumer rights group in China, following the introduction of China’s Personal Information Protection Law on 1st November.

The country has been accelerating efforts to regulate companies’ storage and utilisation of user data, which in part is designed to give users the choice over ad personalisation. This has put businesses on alert, as not only do they control a large amount of data that they themselves are accountable for, but it’s also a key part of their approach to marketing. WeChat is the number one social media platform in China, and allows businesses to reach audiences through access to their data.

China is an important market for global businesses, and we regularly receive questions from clients regarding WeChat. Although we don’t have access to the platform in the UK, our teams in Hong Kong and mainland China are well-placed to deliver campaigns for clients. The platform has 1.26 billion monthly active users, and WeChat has a reputation for making it hard for users to opt-out of personalised ads.

The opt-out process has recently been improved from 11 steps to 5, but it is clear that WeChat are keen to ensure data-based targeting is a core part of its offering for advertisers.