Chinese manufacturer Huawei recently launched a new smartphone in China and to sell it the company looked towards an unconventional sales channel: a messaging application. WeChat is one of the most widely used messaging application in China and Huawei teamed up with it to sell the new Honor 6 smartphone. This partnership became possible after online retailer JD.com integrated a virtual store in WeChat earlier this year.
Tencent’s WeChat is already widely used for customer service and marketing in China. Selling directly to customers is still a new idea but its starting to take off nonetheless. JD said that through its WeChat store some 550,000 customers either pre-ordered the Honor 6 or took part in a sale campaign prior to the launch of the smartphone.
In the sales promotion WeChat users were told to correctly guess the price of the Honor 6 ahead of its release. Those who guessed it right would win a free unit of the smartphone. Touting Huawei’s own processor, a 5-inch display and a 13-megapixel rear camera the Honor 6 is a good mid-range Android powered smartphone that retails for roughly $320 in China.
Huawei leans on this unconvetional sales channel as its grip on the lucrative Chinese smartphone market comes under pressure from the likes of Lenovo, Samsung, Apple and even Xiaomi. In the first quarter of this year Huawei came in the 6th spot behind most of its major rivals, something which no doubt worries the company.
For the U.S. market Huawei has set up a new online portal through which it will directly sell smartphones to customers.