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WeConquer: WeChat is turning its social network into a fintech empire
WeChat is fast becoming one of the biggest players in fintech. The 650 million-strong social network, owned by Tencent, has been offering payments to its users in China since early 2014 but now its expanding aggressively overseas.
The first big move in this direction came last month when it partnered with Western Union to allow users to send money to China, the US, and 200 other countries.
Now, Xinhua reports that WeChat wants to completely open its payments platform to overseas transactions, supporting U.S. dollars, Hong Kong dollars, British pounds, Japanese yen, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, New Zealand dollars, and Korean won. More recently, the company has announced it has also extended its WeChat Wallet service to South Africa
But even as it expands abroad, WeChat is also growing its ecosystem at home. Last week WePiao, WeChat’s cinema ticket sales app, bagged a 1.5 billion yuan ($234 million) Series C round of funding. WePiao now claims to be CHina fastest growing unicorn.
If the rapid rise of WeChat is anything to go by, the future of fintech might belong not to the banks but the social networks.