Chinese electronics giant Haier aims to have 1 million people selling its products by next year through the country’s most popular messaging app, WeChat.
Haier kicked off this social-selling effort last month and has so far recruited 100,000 people to hawk its products through WeChat’s “Weishang,” which translates to microbusiness, an e-market function that allows the app’s 500 million active monthly users to sell goods to one another.
Haier CEO Zhou Yunjie’s plan, reported Wednesday by the South China Morning Post, indicates the investment has been fruitful so far for the company, whose tech products include smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, LCD TVs and even an Apple-certified smart air conditioner.
The outcome of this e-commerce strategy could eventually influence similar messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and Kik.
Chinese users are able to advertise items they’re selling to their WeChat contacts through the app’s “Moments” status update function. Authorized Haier sellers receive a minimum commission of 2 percent, according to the Want China Times.
There’s no start-up cost associated with the practical elements of running a business, as Haier delivers the items sold by the seller directly to the buyer from one of its warehouses.
The company is using Weishang to expand out of China’s mainland, where it already has tens of thousands of physical stores.
Tencent-owned WeChat is China’s biggest messaging app, with more than 500 million monthly active users as of March.
That’s less than WhatsApp’s 700 million, but more than Kik’s 200 million monthly active users and Viber’s estimated 249 million.