eTALK China Insights: WeChat – Easy Mode for the Elderly


eTALK WeChat elderly mode

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Developed by Tencent in 2011, WeChat is a multipurpose instant messaging App best known for its social media and mobile payment capabilities.

Since 2018, WeChat has been the world’s largest standalone mobile App and has over 1 billion MAUs.

The App is available in 17 languages and is described as a “super app” as it provides a wide variety of services; everything from text and voice messaging, to video conferencing, to utility bills payment, to financial services.

Elderly Netizens

eTALK WeChat elderly netizens

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At the beginning of 2021, China’s netizens aged over 60 is estimated to account for around 12.3% of the overall users, at over 123 million.

An year-over-year increase of 26 million was observed since 2019 as the Covid-19 pandemic forced drastic changes in people’s daily lives.

New regulations, like Health Code checks, forced many senior citizens to use mobile internet for the first time in their lives. However, many seniors find this quite complex and had great trouble adapting.

Easy Mode

eTALK WeChat Easy Mode

Image Source: eTOC Research

To make life easier for the elderly, regulators ordered 43 of the most commonly used Apps to make provisions for the elderly.

However, WeChat’s Easy Mode, like many other Apps, only made the font size large and the colors brighter. Whilst this helps substantially, it is still not enough to solve the “how to operate” dilemma that seniors face.

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