WeChat boasts a user base of more than 1 billion people and offers more than just messaging services, providing livestreaming, payment, and e-commerce services. The app will host the Apple Store via one of its mini-programs – small-sized apps hosted on WeChat.
Apple's store within WeChat will offer its entire product lineup, including the latest iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Orders will be delivered for free, with the option for some users to pay for expedited three-hour delivery. Customers will also have access to additional Apple services, such as its trade-in program.
Apple's move comes as consumers in China increasingly turn to social media platforms like WeChat and ByteDance to shop. Apple already operates a shop on Alibaba's Tmall, a prominent online marketplace, while the second-largest online retailer in China, JD.com, is an official reseller of Apple products.
While China remains a vital market for Apple, the company has also been diversifying its production sources by moving a portion of its manufacturing to countries like India and Vietnam.