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China’s hugely popular WeChat introduces micropayment "like" button to reward writers

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

August 13, 2015 | 3 min read

One of China’s largest online publishers could serve as the catalyst for paying for online media content by the article after it introduced micropayments in the form of a like button.

WeChat, which has 600 million monthly active users in China and abroad, announced that it will implement a micropayment system for writers who release posts through “official accounts”.

Users will be able to reward authors after reading their posts by choosing to donate between 5 yuan (less than $1) to 200 yuan (about $30) using WeChat Payments, the publishers mobile wallet app.

Andrew Schorr, who runs the WeChat-centric startup Grata from Beijing, says that the publisher’s dominance on smartphones in China allows has put it in the best position to try the scheme.

He added that the service has already “conditioned users to get comfortable exchanging very small amounts of cash to groups of strangers. Now it’s being extended to this praise button.”

WeChat has served as a platform for self-made media stars throughout China and the ease of which donations can be made in the form of a “like” button could lead the way in how we consume media.

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