Apple has launched an online store on the WeChat app in China, Tencent’s WeChat announced on Tuesday. The Cupertino-based company has added a store to its app via WeChat’s mini-programs, which are small applications with e-commerce, financial services, and transportation offerings.
This store will sell Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Macs. This is not the first time Apple has launched a store on a Chinese platform; as Reuters notes, the iPhone manufacturer also has a store on Alibaba’s Tmall e-commerce platform, which competes with Tencent. In May of this year, Apple also attempted to sell its products through live commerce in the country.
China is one of Apple’s most important international markets. Counterpoint estimates that the iPhone 13 series will dominate the top three spots on the list of the best-selling smartphones in China in 2022.
Despite the decline in China’s smartphone market in the first quarter of 2023, Apple maintained its position as the country’s leading handset manufacturer with a 20% market share, an increase of 2% compared to the same period the previous year.
On the manufacturing side, Apple has been attempting to transfer its production out of China in order to diversify its supply chain. Analysts from JP Morgan stated a year ago that the company plans to move 25% of its iPhone production to India by 2025 and 20% of its iPad and Apple Watch production to Vietnam.