Astrill is blocked, skype does not work very well… and this is a good opportunity for Chinese web product to win market share and expand their product…


Wechat, The new competitor of Skype (in China) 

Those two online social platforms are both fighting to offer a larger choice of services to consumers and at the same time, optimize their costs. Skype and Wechat are both beating for the same field area.

Wechat was launched in 2011 and owned by the giant Tencent. It is one of the most popular application used in China with 600 million users and about 65% of Chinese used this app. At the beginning Wechat is focused essentially on messaging but then has expanded to more services (booking tickets, hailing taxis…etc).

Skype created in 2003, has about 350 millions of users and was originally used on PC computer and its most knowing function is essentially calling: making calls or receive calls for free from a computer to another, making calls to standard phone line but it is in a paying formula.

Basically those 2 main actors don’t seem to have the same functions but it is on the way to change. Here we will see how those 2 mains actors are competing on the same field.

The same battle field: Calling function

The Chinese app, Wechat has move to another battle field by launching its calling feature, as Skype did. At the difference of Skype, Wechat has developed further functions of this feature that we will see more in details to the next point. For the New Year’s Eve, Wechat has decided to innovate by offering to its users 0, 99 credit cents meaning 100 minutes of free calls all around the world.

Skype, as I said, before is mainly focusing on calls and it is the brand main core activity and strategy. Skype stay focused on this strategy and try to optimize it in a maximum.


Wechat and Skype: Different functions

Skype:  You have different functions such as hotkeys allowing you to talk with your relative or friends in a convenient environment, the long list of emoticon that you may all probably know which is available on Skype and the so much known sharing screen with others when you can easily share files and music…etc.

Wechat: With Wechat, you can actually do a conference call with 9 people and for the companies, you have the automatic answer who able companies to interact with customers, this function is reducing the time spending of employee to respond. It is a way to fully optimize the costs.

Wechat vs Skype: Who will win the battle?

Skype has to face a quite challenging competitor: Wechat…but not only, others apps such as Whatsapp for example is also competing in the same field. The core strategical activity of Skype: calling to landline and cell phone number seems to face new innovative and changes to get its leadership position for the calling feature. Skype has facing some issues with calling feature which is overshadowing company’s image.

Skype is trying hardly to find a place in this rude sector, for example Skype has launched a digital strategy to enhance “storytelling” value of the brand. How?

This campaign called “stay together” is highlighting and featuring stories of different people enhancing long distance relationships with Skype.

Here the video below:

To conclude, the most important thing to remember is that having just only one competitive advantage and even really optimized one is not enough nowadays, Skype has to face the giant Wechat which has many other functions than just the feature calling one. Mono activity brand is facing multiple activities brand such as Skype vs Wechat.


Further Readings

WeChat challenges Skype with calls to cell phones and landlines

5 new functions of Wechat         

Learn more about Wechat function here