Tencent and Apple have reached a deal which will see the resumption of tipping to content creators and video-streaming stars by users of WeChat, the former’s messaging app. The tipping feature was suspended in 2017 following a dispute between the Chinese technology giant and the iPhone maker regarding the terms.
According to Apple the monetary tips constituted in-app purchases and this therefore entitled the Cupertino, California-based device maker to a 30% commission. Tencent on the other hand argued that it did not charge for the service as it was provided as a way of building and encouraging engagement.
Allen Zhang, the creator of WeChat, revealed during a developer’s conference which was being held in Guangzhou that an agreement allowing tipping to resume had been reached. According to Zhang there will be some changes on the WeChat platform so as to allow the individual content creators to receive the tip directly.
Last year in September changes to App Store rules were instituted by Apple and this allowed for the sending of tips to other users without the tech giant getting any cuts. This is on condition that the gifts are not made in return for a service or content.
In the recent past Apple has taken various steps with a view to protecting its standing and market in the world’s most populous country. This has included ensuring that the QR codes which are prevalent in China can be scanned by its operating system. A new position of a managing director for the Chinese operations has also been created. Last year Apple also deleted hundreds of VPN apps which let users in China access blocked sites.
iPhone 7 Plus
This comes amidst a report by Counterpoint Research that the iPhone 7 Plus emerged as the number two best-selling handset in China last year. Among foreign brands Apple was the only firm which had a smartphone model ranking among the top ten.
In the biggest smartphone market in the world the larger-sized model of the iPhone 7 managed 2.8% of the total sales. The best-selling handset was the Oppo R9s which had garnered 3% of sales.
“iPhone 7 Plus performed better than iPhone 7, demonstrating that currently in China market price may not be the only concern among consumers. Apple users may value more on better specs … than extra budget,” James Yan, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, said.
The iPhone 7 on the other hand was number five in China and managed a 2.4% market share.