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Episode 94: Wechat Ecosystem & Grata.co with Andrew Schorr

Andrew Schorr, CEO and co-founder of Grata.co, joined us for an interesting discussion to dissect the platform and ecosystem behind Wechat in China. Starting from his journey with building three startups including Grata.co across 11 years in China, he discussed how Wechat has changed the landscape for both startup founders and major corporations and brands in China. We covered the different types of official accounts (equivalent to Facebook pages or apps) in Wechat and how the developers leverage on the platform to acquire users and test their startup ideas quickly. Developing on our discussion on Wechat, Andrew shared what it means to be successful in content marketing within China, and the dos and don’ts of growth hacking with Wechat. Last but not least, Andrew offered the perspective that how being successful in Wechat can port any app in the world across the other and upcoming messaging app platforms such as LINE, Telegram, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp.

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Andrew Schorr (@Andrew_Schorr, LinkedIn, Wechat: grata_co), CEO & co-founder of Grata.co
    • How did he get started in his career? [0:54]
    • What made Andrew move from the US to China?  [1:23] 
    • What has he done there for the past 11 years that led up to Grata.co? [2:05]
  • Grata.co
    • What’s the problem that Grata.co is trying to solve? [4:38]
    • How does Grata.co help to solve the customers’ pain point? Is it B2C or B2B [6:10] 
    • How does Grata.co operate in Wechat via the official account feature? [8:10]
  • Wechat ecosystem and growth hacking in China
    • A quick intro to Wechat, the messaging app and an important platform from corporations to startups. [9:00]
    • Interesting data points on Grata’s translation of Wechat impact report:  (a) 55.2% of users open WeChat more than 10 times a day, (b) Wechat users consumed US$15.3B worth of mobile data, (c) 53% of organisations allocate their spending to maintain & upgrade their Wechat official accounts.
    • How does the Wechat platform works for startups in China? [12:30]
    • Does Wechat have any developer APIs documentation, developer evangelists for people to talk to or even conferences for startups or corporate developers to attend? (Reference: Wechat Developer APIs) [13:50]
    • How does an overseas brand or corporation get an official account? [16:50]
    • What is an official account? What are the different types of official accounts (similar to Facebook Pages) on Wechats for startups and corporations in Wechat?
    • What are the interesting services that has emerged from WeChat? 
    • How does an overseas brand get an official account on Wechat from Tencent?
    • How do we know when the content marketing on social media in China is successful? What are the interesting use cases that you can share? [20:21]
    • What are the important tips to grow hack on Wechat? [22:42] 
    • How do brands grow followers on Wechat? Do they advertise via Wechat ads? [24:40]
    • Given that Facebook messenger is cloning Wechat for the US market, can you port the services from Grata to the US market in the same way? A different way of thinking about this is that if anyone master how to make a killer app on Wechat, does that mean that it can translate to the other messaging apps? [25:30]
    • The messaging apps are fragmented across different parts of the world with Telegram, LINE & Kakao Talk leading in some parts of the world, are messaging app bots the new apps for mobile users? [27:04]
    • Grata.co is invested by 500 startups and various investors in Silicon Valley, and any additional thoughts before we close our conversation? [29:13]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.

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By | 2016-02-25T02:59:00+00:00 February 25th, 2016|Analyse Asia Podcast, Podcast Shows|

About the Author:

A pragmatic idealist in technology, media & entrepreneurship.