WeChat to help exports to China exceed €1bn

Some 30 Irish food and drink exporters gained insights into the mobile app WeChat at an interactive workshop hosted by Bord Bia.

A WhatsApp-style cross-platform messaging service, WeChat has more than 700m active users and is growing 35% each year. Half of these use WeChat for at least 90 minutes a day. The average WeChat user makes 50 transactions a month.

“In a Chinese internet with no Google, Facebook or YouTube, for most Chinese businesses, their WeChat account will be more important than their website,” said Matthew Brennan, who led the workshop; a WeChat expert, he is from the EU SME, an EU initiative helping companies seeking entry to Asian markets.

“WeChat is on course to have a billion active users by the end of this year.”

Ireland exported over €869m in food and drink to China in 2016, up 31% on 2015, driven by dairy, pigmeat, and seafood. Bord Bia believes WeChat could help Irish companies continue this surge in exports.

“With a steadily-increasing population, China looks on track to become the first €1bn market for Irish food and drink exports outside of the UK within the next three years,” said Karen Tyner, Bord Bia food and beverage manager.

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