Chinese Whispers: WeChat Adds “Stories” Feature in the Latest Update, and More

In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.

In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • WeChat’s “Stories” feature allows users to post instant videos that stay up for one day,
  • Angelababy’s online influence slid in 2018, and
  • Fosun Group’s investment in a Japanese theme park.
WeChat's new "Time Capsule" feature is similar to Instagram Stories. Jing Daily illustration.

WeChat’s new “Time Capsule” feature is similar to Instagram Stories. Jing Daily illustration.

1. WeChat adds a “Time Capsule” feature, similar to Instagram Stories – WeChat

In its latest system update on December 21, China’s top social messaging app WeChat unveiled a new feature called “Time Capsule,” which allows users to post instant videos of less than 15 seconds that only appear on individual users’ homepages for 24 hours. The new feature is similar to the “Stories” feature offered by a wide range of Western social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

Users can either upload their existing videos or record new ones through “Time Capsule.” They will be able to add descriptions, emojis, music, and location information based on their needs. Viewers of videos can tap on the bubble icon to let friends know they have opened it (see an example above).

China’s online community has been excited about this update. Upon the release of the new feature, the topic “WeChat Upgrade (微信大改版)” became the No. 1 trending topic on Sina Weibo, with 340 million readers viewing the hashtag and over 36,000 viewers participating in the discussion.

The development may be revolutionary for luxury marketers. Though the current version is a bit rough and only available for individual users, the feature can create enormous marketing opportunities for brands and is poised to transform the digital marketing landscape in China.

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 24: Angela Baby attends the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on September 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 24: Angela Baby attends the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 on September 24, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

2. Survey indicates the declining online influence of Dior’s Chinese brand ambassador – Jiemian

In 2018, Christian Dior’s Chinese brand ambassador Angelababy, aka Yang Ying, has seen her online influence drop significantly, according to a new survey by Chinese media outlet Jiemian, in collaboration with Jinri Toutiao and Yian Insurance, listing the rise and fall of Chinese celebrities’ online clout. Actress Liu Shishi, who has collaborated with luxury brands such as Omega, Tod’s and Chanel, saw the second-biggest decline in her influence.

Visitors walk on a bridge at the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, operated by Huis Ten Bosch Co., in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, on Friday, July 17, 2015. Huis Ten Bosch is spread across 1.52 million square meters (376 acres), about twice the size of Tokyo Disneyland, according to its website. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Visitors walk on a bridge at the Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, operated by Huis Ten Bosch Co., in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, on Friday, July 17, 2015. Huis Ten Bosch is spread across 1.52 million square meters (376 acres), about twice the size of Tokyo Disneyland, according to its website. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

3. Lanvin’s parent company Fosun Group snaps up Japanese theme park Huis Ten Bosch – Luxe.co

Chinese investment conglomerate Fosun Group is set to acquire almost a 25-percent stake in Japanese theme park Huis Ten Bosch Co, further expanding its portfolio in the high-end hospitality sector. Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki is a replica of a Dutch town known named after a residence of the Dutch royal family.

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