How Tencent’s Weixin is Helping Tourism and Entertainment Industries Reset and Transform


The pandemic has upended the global travel and entertainment industries, but Tencent is trying to help them weather the storm with features on its popular all-in-one messaging app, Weixin.

With digitalization moving at an unprecedented speed, Tencent is working with international brands that were dependent on Chinese consumers to build digital muscle to reach Chinese consumers, particularly the tourism and entertainment industries.

From virtual museum tours to livestreamed concerts, we look at how Weixin has become an enabler for businesses and artists to reset and transform during this challenging period.

Docent Tours: Localize and Digitalize

Before the pandemic, Chinese visitors accounted for 10 percent of the 10 million annual visitors at the Louvre in Pairs, hinting at the economic value that the population brought in.

International museums, including the Louvre, recalibrated quickly after the global outbreak to stay engaged with Chinese visitors until the travel restrictions are lifted.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, one of the first among overseas museums to work with Tencent in virtual tours. Participants talked to other online visitors during the tour or purchased souvenirs from the museum’s gift stores on Mini Programs.

Since 2020, 11 members of the American Alliance of Museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Guggenheim, launched Weixin Mini Programs to take online visitors on guided tours.

Virtual Concerts and Tours: Fly Without Wings

Music and Travelling are a full physical, sensory experience. To overcome the ongoing challenges, overseas artists and businesses are doubling down on interactive video features to stay connected with Chinese fans halfway around the world.

Digital entertainment is not foreign to Chinese consumers, some of the most enthusiastic adopters of digital technologies and lifestyles. They spend more than 65 percent of their screen time on consuming social content such as social media posts and livestreaming sessions, according to a report by McKinsey & Company.

In December 2021, Irish band Westlife livestreamed a concert in London to meet over 27 million Chinese fans tuned in through Weixin ChannelsWeixin Channels, an in-app video platform launched in early 2020, is a great alternative for content creators, especially for lesser-known acts to have more exposure for less cost.

Meanwhile, tourism-related organizations in 50 countries have conducted creative campaigns on the platform to feed Chinese consumers’ hunger for cultural experiences. In February 2021, Sweden’s travel and tourism board livestreamed the enchanting northern lights to 260,000 viewers in China. Another episode on New Zealand featured Middle-earth and garnered a large volume of views.

Weixin Channels offers a training program for independent creators, artists and businesses to encourage more high-quality videos that entertain users.

One-stop-travel Solution

Weixin’s Mini Programs, which holds more than 450 million active users, has quickly become an essential consumer engagement tool thanks to Weixin’s connectivity with different services.

As domestic tourism soared in China last year, tourism boards and agencies have been ramping up their online marketing efforts through Weixin’s integrated ecosystem. 

When businesses post beautiful landscapes on their own channels, users will check flight and accommodation on Mini Programs and purchase with a few clicks via Weixin Pay.

According to Weixin, transaction volume in the tourism, catering and retail industries on Weixin Pay doubled year-on-year in 2021.