Oriental Selection moves into WeChat content arena

In its latest move to shore up its traffic stream, Oriental Selection (also called East Buy) has started posting content on Channels, the short video and livestream feature of Tencent’s messaging app WeChat.

For now, the content consists of a few short vlogs from some of the team’s recent educational tourism trips and no plans for live content have been announced. But with Tencent placing more strategic emphasis on WeChat’s live shopping capabilities, it would certainly make sense for Oriental Selection to build a presence on China’s super app.

Oriental Selection pivoted from English tutoring to selling goods via livestream in 2021 after the Double Reduction Policy introduced massive legal grey areas into the private education industry. Since then, the former tutoring company has been dogged in its pursuit of livestream success, rapidly mastering the format with an innovative approach: bilingual content blending cultural education with promotion. Impressively, it claimed the top spot for sales on Douyin during the 618 shopping festival just 6 months after launching.

It was on Douyin that the channel got its start, but over the last year, it has been pushing to branch out across platforms, perhaps wary of downfall after its experience with sudden policy changes. The company began live broadcasting on Taobao last summer and set up its own independent platform, where users can watch content and browse sponsored items (paid members get discounts on goods). Even if Oriental Selection does not start livestreaming on WeChat Channels, the video content will help funnel more users to the independent app for more viewing and purchasing options.

At the same time, Tencent-owned WeChat is upping its commitment to its live shopping feature. The platform managed to generate 100 billion RMB (13.9 billion USD) in GMV in 2023, a significant milestone for a platform that entered the live shopping area relatively late.

Tencent is now expanding its e-commerce team betting on major growth potential from this part of the business– the company’s founder and chief executive Pony Ma even went so far as to call Channels “the hope of the whole company”.


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