WeChat

Tencent and Apple Inc have ended their dispute over tips within the WeChat messaging app. Source: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic/Illustration/File Photo

Apple and Tencent agree to enable tips on WeChat

CHINESE technology giant Tencent and Apple Inc have ended their dispute over tips within the WeChat messaging app. The companies will allow users of the app to tip – and continue to give monetary gifts – to their favorite video-streaming stars and content creators.

Tipping on Tencent’s WeChat app was suspended last year after Apple and Tencent could not agree on terms for users.

Apple had said tips were the equivalent of in-app purchases, which entitled the company to a 30 percent cut of the total amount transferred. However, Tencent argued that it did not collect any revenue from the service itself and provided it at no extra cost to build user engagement.

At a developers’ conference in Guangzhou, China, this week, WeChat creator Allen Zhang said the two companies had reached a deal that will allow transfers to resume, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Zhang added that WeChat will tweak the platform so the tip will be paid to individual content creators, but didn’t give any other details.

“In the past, companies like Apple might have had a difficult time understanding China-specific features,” Zhang said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Tencent. “We now all share a mutual understanding and we’ll soon bring back the tip function.”

In September 2017, Apple changed its App Store rules to allow users to send money to other users without Apple taking any cut. But they must only be gifts and not ‘gifts’ in exchange for content or services, otherwise the money will be considered a purchase and Apple will take a percentage.

Apple has made it clear recently that it is keen to maintain and protect its business in China. Among other things, it has shut down hundreds of apps that allowed users to access blocked websites and has also introduced the ability for users to scan QR codes that are used everywhere in China.






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